Essex County Council (ECC) is committed to maintaining and protecting the network of public rights of way across the county, and the work of local volunteer groups is invaluable when it comes to upgrading and improving rights of way on a local basis. Volunteers can help with the following:
- Inspecting - checking that local footpaths, bridleways and byways are well used, maintained and available by walking, cycling or riding them as appropriate
- Maintaining - keeping routes clear of vegetation, building bridges, way marking 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
- Promoting - lead guided walks, organize 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.
If you need to report a problem with a public right of way, you can report it online at our Report a Highway Problem page.
Parish Paths Partnership (P3)
This is an ECC-funded community-based scheme that enables local volunteers to look after and/or promote their local Public Right of Way network. More information is contained in the P3 manual. If you want to volunteer, the Public Rights of Way and Localism Officer will be able to put you in touch with an existing local group, or help you start up your own group.
The Public Rights of Way and Localism 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 (download a PDF below)
- Advice, support and guidance with all projects
- 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. In addition, one-to-one training is provided through meetings and practical working days
- Map reading, surveying skills, PRoW legislation knowledge.
For information on local groups please follow this link: List of volunteers 2015-6