Saving local rights of way

Reepham and its surrounding area feature a wealth of footpaths, tracks and bridleways of all kinds.

In 2013, the town was one of four Norfolk settlements chosen for a Connecting Threads project, supported by the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE Norfolk) and the University of East Anglia.
During the following year, local residents Trevor and Imogen Ashwin organised and led a series of walks, undertook research and with others staged an exhibition to celebrate the social, natural and archaeological history that these paths illustrate.
There are 31 officially recognised rights of way (ROWs) within the Reepham parish. This list does not include Marriott’s Way or Back Lane (marked as a dotted line on the map), which are respectively a “permitted path” and “unrestricted byway”.
Several ROWs are short and familiar paths within the settlement: one runs from Station Road through a narrow alley (Fisher’s Alley) into the Market Place; another simply provides a route from one corner of the churchyard to the other.
Others lie out toward the boundary with neighbouring parishes, notably Guestwick, Salle and Booton. Some examples can be seen on the map above:

  • no less than four paths link Bar Lane and Whitwell Street to Mill Road and the parish boundary near Furze Lane (22, 23, 25 and 26);
  • by contrast, a single footpath within Booton parish (B1) runs for around a mile, parallel to the Blackwater;
  • the wonderful crooked Catchback Lane (10), a bridleway running from Kerdiston Road to Dereham Road at Hackford Vale.

A subgroup of Reepham Town Council is currently looking to confirm that any regularly used paths are appropriately recorded as a ROW, whether as a footpath or bridleway, because if this is not done by 2026 users will literally lose their ROW.
2026 may seem a long time ahead, but the deadline was set 10 years ago and CPRE, the Open Spaces Society and the British Horse Society are so concerned at the lack of activity that they have set up a group to encourage and co-ordinate progress.
The Town Council subgroup will be investigating any other examples where ROWs in the area (Reepham and neighbouring parishes) are not properly recorded.
If you wish to confirm the status of a path that is important to you, please email the Town Clerk, subject “Reepham Paths", identifying the beginning and end of the path in question and if possible a six-figure Ordnance Survey National Grid reference for one of those points.
Not all the paths you use may be potential ROWs, but we want to ensure that where they are we start the process of registration as soon as possible.
Cllr Michael Pender-Cudlip
See our earlier story:


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