Although Essex County Council (ECC) is committed to maintaining and protecting the network of public rights of way across the county, the work of local volunteer groups is invaluable when it comes to upgrading and improving rights of way on a local basis.
P3 is a community-based scheme, funded by ECC, that enables local volunteers to look after and/or promote their local Public Right of Way (PRoW) network. More information is contained in the P3 manual.
Volunteers can help with the following:
- Inspecting. Checking that local footpaths, bridleways and byways (PRoW) are well used, maintained and available by walking, cycling or riding them.
- Maintaining. Keeping PRoWs clear of vegetation, building bridges, stiles and gates, waymark the routes. This allows volunteers to gain valuable work experience.
- Improving. Open up local networks so that people of all abilities can enjoy the countryside by removing obstructions from routes (such as stiles that are no longer needed) and replacing existing stiles with accessible kissing gates.
- Reporting. Be the eyes on the ground and report maintenance and enforcement problems to ECC PRoW Officers.
- Promoting. Lead guided walks, organise health walks or produce walking leaflets, booklets and guides.
- Protecting. Conserve local networks and areas by helping to plant hedgerows along PRoW, restoring existing and creating new habitats for wildlife, birds and wildflowers. Volunteers can improve their conservation skills and knowledge through working with existing P3 groups and BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers).
If you want to volunteer, the P3 Officer will be able to put you in touch with an existing local group, or help you start up your own group.
The Parish Paths Partnership Officer will help, guide and assist all volunteers by providing the following:
- An up-to-date working copy of the Definitive Map (showing locations of all the PRoW)
- A copy of the P3 Manual.
- Advice, support and guidance with all projects.
- Training. Annual training courses are held to cover any training requirements that volunteer groups may need. In addition, one-to-one training is provided through meetings and practical working days.
- Grants. A financial contribution is made to the groups to cover the costs of organising and completing the works.
- Countryside management skills. Practical training is provided, as well as training in first aid, strimming and health and safety.
- Map reading, surveying skills, PRoW legislation knowledge. The P3 Officers can provide additional learning opportunities in these areas, tailored to meet the needs of specific groups as required.
For further information contact the P3 Officer using the contact information on this page.