Walking in Essex



Should Ramblers encounter any problems with footpaths i.e. blocked paths, damaged stiles, missing sign posts etc please report them to Essex County Council on the link. Information about Public Rights of Way 

Now select ‘Interactive Map’ and zoom in to identify the location details you want (see below). Come out of ‘Interactive Map’ back to ‘Information about Public Rights of Way’ and select ‘Report It’ under ‘Illegal Obstructions’ heading.

Footpath Numbers in Essex

The ECC website has an interactive map which allows you to locate footpath numbers which is especially useful when informing the council of footpath problems. This shows a large scale map of Essex. Scroll to the desired area and zoom in This then gives all the public rights of way marked in red. With the mouse arrow, click on the desired path and the parish and footpath number will be displayed.

Ploughing Over Paths

The guidelines state that a farmer / landowner is allowed two weeks to reinstate the path. Complaints to Essex County Council do not always result in rapid action due to limited resources. However, under the Common Agricultural Policy, farmers have to comply with rules which state that a " visible right of way " must be kept open and accessible. If this is not done it is suggested that we could contact the Rural Payment Agency Customer Services Centre on 0345 603 777 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. giving full details of the location.


The Big Path Watch

The Big Path Watch, the Ramblers ambitious project to walk every footpath in England and Wales, finished on December 31st 2015. You can find out how it went by selecting the link below.

The Big Path Watch Results

Pathwatch Update



Stiles and gates - should they be there? Reporting ones in poor condition

Following the discussion at the Essex Area AGM on access to Definitive Maps if you find extra stiles or stiles or gates out of repair on your walk Katherine, the Ramblers Essex Area Footpath Secretary, has offered the following advice.

Essex County Council Definitive Maps show the position of all authorised structures. However, there may also be additional stiles or gates that have been permitted by Essex CC which are not shown on the Definitive Maps. ALL Essex CC District & Borough Councils should have a copy of the Definitive Map for their area which the public can consult.

ALL the Ramblers Footpath Secretaries should have the Definitive Maps for the Districts/ Boroughs that they cover. However some maps have gone missing in handovers.

I am probably the easiest port of call because as Ramblers Essex Area Footpath Secretary I have a complete set of Definitive Maps for all of Essex County Council. I do NOT have information on Southend, Thurrock or the London Boroughs.

If you email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the grid reference of the stile (or gate or bridge, etc), then I can look up my maps. Also information on the Parish / place where it is - so that I can more easily get the right map sheet - I have 3 boxes of maps!

IF I reply with the information that the stile or gate that is on the ground, is NOT shown on the Definitive Map, then please REPORT it as a "highways problem" on the Essex County Council website (www.essex.gov.uk). IF the stile or gate IS shown on the Definitive Map but it is out of repair, again please REPORT it on the Essex County Council website.

Select "public rights of way (countryside)" as the problem type. If the stile/gate should not be there the defect type is an "obstruction". If it is out of repair then it is "defective furniture". Then enter the nearest ROAD location - you enter the grid reference and more precise details of the problem in the "location details" box that comes up afterwards.

IF somebody is willing to keep track of the problems that have been reported by your group and then update me every 3-4 months before the Essex Area Footpath Secretaries meeting, I would be most grateful.

Thank you

Katherine Evans - Essex Area Footpath Secretary.

Sunday, December 16, 2018