Claiming new footpaths

Public Rights of Way have a legal status which means they are always open and they require special permission to be closed or diverted even temporarily. The district council (in our case B&NES) are responsible for maintaining the footpaths including any stiles, signposts and kissing gates.

The Definitive Map & Statement is a legal document that lists all the public rights of way. Adding a new footpath or changing its route requires us to submit a Definitive Map Modification Order.

The Definitive Map will be closed for new additions in 2026 and Bathampton Parish Council is in the process of claiming several paths that we feel should be given the protection:

  • From Candy’s Bridge at the bottom of Mill Lane, turning right (east) walking down the slope to the tow path (about 30m)
  • The short cut form the south west corner of Holcombe Vale between the houses emerging on the road leading to Holcombe Vale (approx 80m)
  • The short path from the edge of Hantone Hill to the old tram track (approx 100m)
  • The Bath Skyline path on Bathampton Down overlooking Bathampton and leading to the woods (approx 1km)
  • From the University “Westwood” accommodation along the tree line and meeting with an existing footpath that leads to Sham Castle (approx 200m)
  • From the Dry Arch bridge through Bathampton Wood and Hengrove Wood to the American Museum

You can see a map showing all paths we are looking to claim.

In order to successfully claim the paths we need people to demonstrate they have been using them regularly over the last 25 years by filling out a short form. If you have walked these paths for any period over that time we really need your help! We are especially keen to hear from people who were walking the paths 15-25 years ago even if you no longer use them because we have plenty of people who have been using the footpaths more recently who can prove the continued use of the paths.

Instructions for completing the forms:

  1. Print a copy of the User Evidence Form for each path you can complete evidence for
  2. Print a blank map (see below) for each path you are helping us to claim
  3. Complete the form and draw the route of the footpath on the blank map
    • DO NOT send the form back to B&NES despite what it says on the form
    • Complete one form per person. Multiple people in a single household can each complete a form
    • Do not use one form to record information about multiple paths – one form per path
    • You can use the map showing all paths we are looking to claim to see the approximate route for each footpath
  4. Send the completed form(s) and annotated map(s) to Gill Huggins at 24 Warminster Road or the Parish Council Clerk at 69 Holcombe Close, Bathampton, BA2 6UP
  5. Scan the completed form and your annotated map and email it to
  6. Speak to your friends and neighbours (or even former neighbours who moved out of the village) about whether they can complete a form

Blank maps