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Walkers enjoying the public rights of way

B1 – Public rights of way

Benefit a wide variety of users by raising the standard of all public rights of way so that 90% are ‘easy to use’ by 2023.  


How are we doing on this objective

Progress: Final survey for 2020/21 shows 88% of routes are easy to use, slightly down from last year’s figure of 90%.

Press Releases & related articles:

2 April 2021 – New path near Ingleborough summit

20 July 2020 – Popular ‘Three Peaks’ fellside path to close for repair.


Rationale: The National Park has one of the best rights of way networks in the country.  These routes are fundamental to people’s enjoyment of the Park’s special qualities – around 80% of people go on a short or long walk while they are here. The condition of rights of way in the new area of the National Park is significantly lower (67% easy to use) than the rest (89%).  Bringing these paths up to the same standard as the rest of the National Park over the next five years will be challenging but achievable.

Lead partner: Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority

Supporting partnersCumbria County Council, North Yorkshire County Council, Lancashire County Council.

Further information: YDNPA – Footpath repairs and maintenance, PRoW Annual report 2019/20

Cost over 5 years:  £4,100,000

Funding shortfall:   Each year a significant amount of external funding is raised to help meet the costs of the maintenance and enhancement of public rights of way in the National Park.  237k in 2015/16, 244k in 2016/17, 440k in 2017/18 

Related objectives: B2; B3; B8; B9; B10; E2; E3

Ecosystem services: Recreation; A sense of place and inspiration; A sense of history.

Trade-offs: Works to rights of way can potentially have impacts on landscape character (A3) and priority habitats (C1).  Management and mitigation of these impacts is guided by principles set out in the Special Qualities, Special Experience document.

Baseline: 82% of public RoW were easy to use in March 2018.


‘State of the Park’ indicator – YES