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South Cheshire Group

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Access to the countryside

How you can help
Reporting footpath problems


  • One of the Ramblers primary objectives is to protect public rights of way, especially footpaths, and to encourage their use. To enable this objective to be met locally, your Group has elected a Group Footpath Officer (GFO).
  • The GFO needs an understanding of many aspects of path law and its application to commonly encountered problems.
  • A knowledge of Ramblers policy is also necessary to ensure a consistent approach throughout the country.
  • The GFO accepts and takes appropriate action on footpath problems that are reported from various sources.
  • Works with the Ramblers and the local authorities on public rights of way matters.
  • May represent the Ramblers in a local public inquiry into a footpath issue.

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  • To meet the Ramblers objective of 'defending the beauty of the countryside', your Group elects to its committee a Group Countryside Secretary (GCS). At a local level the main task for the GCS is to watch for all kinds of development which may adversely affect the countryside that ramblers walk in, and to campaign against it as appropriate.
  • The GCS is often consulted as a representative of the Ramblers on local planning proposals. Comments on proposals are sought by the local authority for consideration in the planning process.
  • The GCS may represent the Ramblers at a local level on countryside issues which are contained in draft local or structure plans.
  • Considers the impact of local planning proposals within the guidelines and proposals published at national, regional and local levels.

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How you can help

Protecting the Footpath Network

  • Report to the Group any problems with access or obstructions you encounter when walking local paths. (See Reporting Footpath Problems)
  • Respond to specific Group requests for your help as detailed in our News section.
  • Volunteer your services to work for the Group as a Footpath Officer.

Promoting Walking

  • Offer to lead walks for the local Group.
  • Suggest any walks which you might like to see included in the Programme published twice each year.
  • Join the walks published - they are graded so that they appeal to walkers with differing abilities.

Protecting the Countryside

  • Alert the Group to any local planning proposals or site developments which you view as damaging to the countryside or the environment. Please remember that it is more effective to voice concerns and to influence local authority decisions at the planning stage of any development.
  • Volunteer your services to work for the Group as Countryside Secretary.


  • Volunteer your skills and services to the Group Committee.
  • Attend the Group AGM, when your Committee is formed from members of the South Cheshire Group.
    Your committee needs members and officers to function effectively.

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Reporting Footpath Problems

Essential Information Required

  • Grid Reference (including letters)
  • Date of observation
  • Your contact details
  • Brief details of the problem - eg. Locked gate, missing footbridge, broken stile.
  • Number of people in the party at the time
  • Names and Addresses of those prepared to be witnesses (where appropriate).

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Please contact us if you can help in any of the ways above.

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