The Race to Put Thousands of Miles of English Walking Paths Back on the Map

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Nothing feels more British than a long walk through the countryside. Glad to see people organizing to guarantee these walking paths as public for posterity, from Atlas Obscura.

Now, people are delving into archives and poring over old maps in search of footpaths, and submitting them to local councils for review so they can be added to official national Ordnance Survey maps. But not any old track through the heather will do. Paths can be added by virtue of current use, showing evidence, for example, that people have commonly used a route without meeting resistance over the past 20 years. Or a private landowner can concede a public right of way on their own land. Most commonly, a path can be made a public right of way by history—some variation of all the collected customs by which, across centuries, walkers have asserted their rights to get from here to there. One of the most curious of these historical precedents is known as the “corpse road.”

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