Don’t Lose your Way!
The Isle of Wight Ramblers are looking for your help to save our paths!
Well over 500 miles of public paths criss-cross the Island. This network has evolved over centuries with many paths dating back to medieval times – or earlier! These paths link villages, hamlets, roads and towns – they describe how generations before us travelled to the pub, field or shops and reflect the changing patterns of human interaction with the landscape. To this day, millions of people across our towns, cities and countryside, use this fantastic network. However, miles and miles of our public paths are unrecorded and if they are not put on the map by 1 January 2026, they will be lost for ever.
The Isle of Wight Ramblers has started a project to hunt down these lost paths. We have photographed a variety of historic maps. We are also studying other historic documents. To claim a path, we need to submit sufficient evidence to the Council’s Rights of Way department who then decide whether this path can be added to the official map.
Some evidence is there on the ground. There might be old worn stiles, or stone surfaces that might have been an old road. Why should some parishes have low numbers of paths? Modern maps sometimes show a path not quite reaching a connecting road or path.
So, the hunt is on, and we need your help. If you would like to join this project, just get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org