Parish Path Categories and Vegetation Clearance Schedule

Did you know Somerset has one of the longest public rights of way networks in the country and it is similar to the length of the road network in Somerset.  Maintaining such a lengthy network with limited resources is challenging, but with the help of several hundred volunteers across the County we continue to ensure that over 80% of the path network is open and easy to use.

To make sure we can continue to secure best value in service delivery, Somerset County Council's Rights of Way team would like to review: 

  • Path Categories
  • Vegetation Clearance schedule

In 2006/7 we undertook a similar consultation. 12 years on, many communities will have grown and the nature and use of certain paths will have changed, hence it is timely that we undertake a review of this information.

The path categories play an important part in how our Area Wardens prioritise their workload and with increasing pressures  on resources it is important we use them efficiently, directing them to the paths that are most important to the communities of Somerset. The same principle applies to vegetation clearance to make sure we are only cutting paths that need it, and at the right time of year.

You will have until the deadline day of consultation  to complete the questionnaire and submit your comments.  The important thing here is that you consult widely with your community and think about all rights of way users living in and visiting your local area.

It would also help if you can liaise with your neighbouring parish and town councils. This will help us to ensure paths that cross parish boundaries have the same path category where possible. If your parish lies partly within Exmoor National Park, please only complete the consultation for the paths that are outside of the Park boundary.

Please take time to read the guidance notes carefully. All the information you provide will be invaluable and will help us to manage one of Somerset's greatest assets  its rights of way network.

In the Documents section bellow you will find a spreadsheet which contains all the paths in your parish, each district has been be split up  into a separate spreadsheet and parish's are listed in alphabetical order. 

Each path has its  current category listed and if it is on the Vegetation Cutting Schedule the number of times it will be cut per year. 

You will also find guidance on how to use Explore Somerset to find the Path Category and how to view the extent of the vegetation clearance for those listed on the Schedule. 


What we need you to do

Using the templates provided, you can propose a change to Path Category or the Vegetation Clearance Schedule. Insert the Path Reference followed by the most appropriate category and/or number of vegetation cuts you would like to amend. You only need to include the paths you feel need amending, for the paths we don't get a response for, we will assume you are happy with the current arrangements.  In consideration that resources are not currently increasing, any additions to the vegetation cut schedule will need to be reflected by a reduction in the schedule for another part of your parish or another part of the County. If there are paths currently on the schedule you feel a local volunteer could undertake (after being trained in the use of a brushcutter under our Strimmer Scheme), mark it as 0 in the table and then comment 'Volunteer' in the comments box and our Volunteer Officer will be in touch.

You can either fill out the spreadsheet electronically and upload it through the consultation web page or you can print the template and post it to us at:

Volunteer and Trails Officer (B2W), Rights of Way Team, Somerset County Council, County Hall, Taunton, TA1 4DY

This consultation has now closed.


  • Opened
    15 Nov 2018 at 00:00
  • Closed
    31 Jan 2019 at 23:59
  • Response to be published



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