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Historic routes

Here’s a preview of five new self-guided walks we are developing along existing rights of way in and around the New Forest National Park. 

With the help of volunteers, we analysed historic maps dating back to 1759 to research around 700 current rights of way, in 37 parishes. After selecting some of the oldest existing routes, around 260 walking surveys were conducted to help develop trails and whittle down the contenders.

Volunteers also researched historic documents to review what history could be found around these older rights of way. This work has led to these five new trail routes being suggested for their abundance of historic features and their connection to residential areas.

We are also working with Hampshire County Council’s access team and local volunteers to improve the rights of way. We have spoken to several landowners with included rights of way on their land, but there are still those we have not been able to get in touch with yet. If you’re one of these landowners, we would love to talk with you so please do get in touch.

The research into these historic trails has been carried out by NPA Archaeologist Gareth Owen with the help of volunteers for the Our Past, Our Future Landscape Partnership Scheme.

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