Parish Paths Consultation


Did you know Somerset has one of the longest public rights of way networks in the country and it is similar to the length of the road network in Somerset. Maintaining such a lengthy network with limited resources is challenging, but with the help of several hundred volunteers across the County we continue to ensure that over 80% of the path network is open and easy to use.

To make sure we can continue to secure best value in service delivery, Somerset County Council's Rights of Way team would like to review:

• Path Categories
• Vegetation Clearance schedule

In 2006/7 we undertook a similar consultation . 12 years on, many communities will have grown and the nature and use of certain paths will have changed, hence it is timely that we undertake a review of this information.

The path categories play an important part in how our area wardens prioritise their workload and with increasing pressures on resources it's important we use them efficiently, directing these resources to paths that are most important to the community. The same principle applies to vegetation clearance to make sure we are only cutting paths that need it, and at the right time of year.

You will have until the deadline day of consultation Monday 31st January to complete the Spreadsheet with your amendments and submit your comments. The important thing here is that you consult with your community and think about all rights of way users living in and visiting your local area.

It would also help if you can liaise with your neighbouring parish and town councils. This will help us to ensure that paths crossing parish boundaries have the same path category where possible. If your parish lies partly within Exmoor National Park, please only complete the consultation for the paths that are outside of the Park boundary.

Please take time to read the guidance notes carefully. All the information you provide will be invaluable and will help us to proactively manage one of Somerset's greatest assets - its rights of way network.
If you would like to chat this through, please do not hesitate to contact me.

You can access the consultation at the following link