The New Landscapes Institute hosts The Right of Way: Redrawing the Definitive Map.

The Contemporary British Countryside contains a labyrinth of Public Rights of Way, Bridlepaths, Byways, Ancient Highways and Footpaths, which over the centuries have been re-configured by an array of laws and rural interventions that dictate their use. In this urbanised time, the age-old battle for the commons continues to be an ever- expanding field.

In 2000, the Countryside and Rights of Way Act was introduced in England and Wales. Section 53 of the Act provides for a cut-off date for the Definitive ‘Right of Way’ map of 2026. This means that many historic routes and trails will be lost if they are not formally recorded in the next ten years.

This evening, join a range of speakers as they present different views on this transforming landscape and where the battles for public and private space are still being waged. Invited speakers and groups include Kate Ashbrook, Open Spaces Society/The Ramblers; Mario Costa-Sa, British Horse Society/Trail Riders Fellowship; Alex Hodson, Independent publisher and other public space advocates.

Find out how you can contribute to identifying and recording any unlisted or forgotten Rights of Way before the cut-off date of 2026.

There will also be a screening of Along the Bridleway  – documenting the New Landscapes Institute’s recent fieldwork  – horse riding along London’s Green belt.

The Right of Way: Redrawing the Definitive Map

Fieldwork in Bromley, Historian Tudor Davies, 2016.