Cornwall Project 2026 - Introduction and Help

Cornwall Project 2026



Cornwall Project 2026 - Introduction and Help


The CROW Act 2000 contains legislation which extinguishes all historic Rights of Way that are not recorded on the definitive map by 2026. It established a Discovery Lost Ways (DLW) project that failed dismally and was abandoned because of the enormity of the task.

The 2026 cut of date was specifically asked for by the landowner organisations (CLA, NFU etc) to ensure that all rights of way are correctly recorded by the 2026 date. This date and landowner wishes were retained by the Stakeholder Working Group on Unrecorded Public Rights of Way which produced the "Stepping Forward" report to Natural England in 2010. The cut-of date was retained despite the failure of the DLW project.

Project Aim:

The Aim of our volunteer led project is to meet the wishes of the landowners and the terms of the associated legislation in ensuring that all meaningful Unrecorded Rights of Way (in Cornwall) as far as possible have been researched, and necessary steps taken to ensure any associated rights are not unnecessarily extinguished at that date.

Project Organisation

  • The Project is being Coordinated by the British Horse Society working closely with the Ramblers and Cornwall Council.
  • The project is being managed online via an interactive map of possible unrecorded routes.
  • Any volunteer can join the project and contribute directly with giving any information about "lost" or unrecorded routes.
  • We welcome walkers, riders, historians, cyclists etc to help.

Getting Started

To become involved please visit

The project is organised based on an Interactive Map of identified Unrecorded Routes.

We will welcome information from walkers to add routes that are either ridden or walked. This is a joint project between the BHS, the Ramblers and with the support of Cornwall Council.

On the web map, select you place of interest via the Search Box, or zoom manually to your place of interest.

  • Each path has a green dot on it. Clicking on this dot will display information about the path and also give further information options.
  • You can quickly display the path on various old maps on the NLS site, on Cornwall Council’s RoW map.
  • If you click Research Record you will be taken to the Project Research Record that path.

The Project Research Record (for a path):

  • The Research Record for each path holds research information about the path that you, the volunteers, have provided.
  • The Grid Ref is automatically displayed from the map.
  • The Research Record provides a full template for everyone to work to.
  • Each Research Record may be downloaded to Excel if required.
  • The Research Record fields may be added to in the future if required.
  • Any 2026 volunteer can update the Research Record for a path.
  • The Research Records are held securely on a BHS web server.
  • For data security, no actual data record is ever modified when updates are added. The previous versions are all retained and viewed by paging back. The memo field (if memo notes are added for an update) gives full update history/progress.
  • To make amendments volunteers have to register their email and get a pin to enable update. This is for obvious security reasons.
  • Enter your information into the work sheet and click “Update”. You will be asked for your email and Pin. You can also obtain your Pin via that web page.
  • Anyone who has interest in, or looks at, a particular path should make sure the web record is up to date.
  • Anyone with knowledge can add information to the record.
  • As all information is visible, it will avoid duplication of research and enable good coordination of the project.
  • The Notes by each item are intended to give a quick summary of the evidence found. Tick if you have checked an item and note your conclusions. Also you can give an estimated star rating for that piece of evidence at the start (* to **********).
  • The memo field at the bottom is for you to say what you have added or updated. Add your name/nickname if you wish.
  • The text boxes are maximum 254 characters (box does scroll).
  • The memo box it not limited in length.
  • It is VERY EASY TO USE, just add information and click update.

Virtual Library:

On the Research Record for a path there are links to Guidance Notes and also to an on line Library of accumulated maps and other documents.

  • Click "Library" on a path work sheet. This will take you to the virtual library.
  • There are already many maps and other information in the library.
  • Available Area Books are already uploaded.
  • All Inland Revenue 1910 maps are available for all of Cornwall.
  • All the Tithe Maps and Apportionments are now available in this virtual library.
  • Volunteers may also upload their own research maps and other documents.
  • Please let us know of any other paths or lost routes that can be loaded and we will add them.


The level of anyone's involvement is purely dependent upon your available time and abilities.

Please do contribute as much or as little as you wish. The list below will give you some guidance (Simplest first)

  1. Let us know of any routes/paths in your area that you believe were used as old roads or rights of way and which are not recorded (on the definitive map/OS Map) as byway, bridleway or footpath.

    You may find these routes from visual evidence, your own knowledge of your area or by looking at old and current maps

  2. Find out a bit more about the history of these paths from other people in the area

  3. Do more serious research by checking the path(s) against old maps and other documents (with reference to the guidance given in Restoring the Record (Bucks Wadey)

  4. Record all your findings on the Research Record Page for each path - This is MOST IMPORTANT.

  5. Consider preparing and submitting a Definitive Map Modification Order for a path or paths.

Help and Guidance

More Online Help and Guidance is still to be added.

Please let us know of any technical issues you encounter,

Please contact us at anytime for further help and advice or if you think the form or guidance wants improving.