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Rights of Way & Access Annual Report 2016-17

The latest report is now available: Rights of Way & Access Annual Report 2016-17

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Our highest ever ‘Ease of Use’ assessment score – 96%
  • A record number of 16 major works being completed – many from Headwaters of Exe project funding and our first crowd funding project – BMC Mend Our Mountains
  • Working with Natural England to assist and advise in the implementation of the new England Coast Path across Exmoor.
  • Two Moors Way 40th anniversary relaunch which has resulted in numerous trail improvements, new pocket guide, website and promotional video
  • A fantastic effort from our Path Watcher volunteers, surveying paths in 10 Parishes and adding up to 518 hours.


New Statue unveiled on Exmoor by BBC’s John Craven

BBC Countryfile’s John Craven unveiled an iconic new statue “The Walker” on The Esplanade in Lynmouth, Exmoor, this week.  Commissioned to mark the end of The Coleridge Way long-distance walking route, “The Walker” also indicates the closing stage of The Two Moors Way, as well as pinpointing where both these walks intersect with the South West Coast Path; the UK’s longest national trail.

Read more


Rhododendron Clearance: South West Coast Path from Glenthorne to Wingate Combe

South West Coast Path

More than a one and a half kilometres of dense rhododendron has been cleared from Glenthorne to Wingate Combe on the South West Coast Path, thanks to a partnership between Exmoor National Park and the South West Coast Path Association.

The work was undertaken by Mike Bowden from Lyn Valley Contractors and it took a five-man team seven days to clear the rhododendron, which in three places had formed large tunnels along an important stretch of the Coast Path.  

National Park Ranger Adam Vasey said: “We’re working hard, in partnership with the South West Coast Path Association and local landowners, to improve long stretches of the Coast Path.  This section of path was heavily overgrown with rhododendron, making it difficult for our maintenance teams to keep it open.  By clearing back one and half kilometres of dense growth we’ve opened up sea views and widened the path making it more accessible.

“We are grateful to the South West Coast Path Association for sharing the cost of this work and look forward to further joint working in the future.”


Over the Hills - Two Moors Way 40th anniversary relaunch

The Two Moors Way, one of the region’s most popular walking routes, was re-launched as part of its 40th anniversary year at a celebration event at Simonsbath on Exmoor yesterday (Thursday 22 September 2016).

The Two Moors Way was first established in 1976 linking the two National Parks in the South West via a 102-mile walking route between Ivybridge on the southern border of Dartmoor with Lynmouth on the rugged north coast of Exmoor. There is also a popular option to extend the route 15 miles between Wembury on the south Devon coast and Ivybridge to form a Devon Coast to Coast route utilising the Erme-Plym trail.

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New bridleway route through Worth Wood near Tarr Steps

Exmoor National Park Authority is pleased to announce that the long term closure on Public Bridleway DU10/38, Parish of Withypool & Hawkridge has been lifted.

A landslip occurred following the major flood of 24 December 2012 which destroyed a 40 metre length of the bridleway on the western bank of the River Barle at Worth Wood. This made the legally recorded route impassable at this point and it has been closed ever since.

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Woodside Bridge, Lynmouth

Woodside Bridge on the East Lyn near Lynmouth had to be closed and removed following a recent inspection by Exmoor National Park Authority revealed it to be unsafe.


British Mountaineering Council’s Mend our Mountains crowdfunding campaign: Long Chains Combe, Exmoor

Work can now get underway to repair a remote path near Long Chains Combe in Exmoor National Park which was recently one of the projects in the British Mountaineering Council’s Mend our Mountains crowdfunding campaign.

For Exmoor, the aim of the project was to raise enough money to airlift stone into a remote part of the moor to improve the surface of an important path which is part of the Two Moors Way, a 102 mile route which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.  BMC’s Mend Our Mountains raised £7,500 for this work.

Read more:


Path Watcher Volunteers: Shortlisted for the Campaign for National Parks Protector Awards 2016

The efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers who help look after Exmoor’s rights of way, have been recognised after being shortlisted for the Campaign for National Parks Park Protector Awards 2016.

Park Protector Awards recognise, reward and celebrate exceptional projects or individuals that have made a lasting contribution to the protection, restoration or conservation of the National Parks of England and Wales. The awards are open to groups or individuals who are delivering projects, campaigns, or activities in one or more of the National Parks in England and Wales and the prize is a £2000 bursary to develop the project.

Read more:


Rights of Way & Access Annual Report 2015-16

Recent surveys show that 93% of Exmoor National Park’s public rights of way are open and easy to use. The surveys are carried out by volunteers following nationally agreed criteria.

Ceri Rapsey, rights of way support officer says: “Our Rangers and Field Services Team have been working hard to improve the rating and the result shows a continued increase over recent years. We are very grateful to our fantastic volunteers who help us to survey the paths.

“Our rights of way network is one of the special features of Exmoor and is key to unlocking the immense potential for outdoor recreation within the National Park.  Along with our Access Land and permitted access, it offers unrivalled access on foot, horseback or bicycle for everyone to enjoy.”

Download Rights of Way & Access Annual Report 2015-16


Useful Links


Changes to the Path Network: Public Path Orders

Path Closures

Up and coming Recreational Events

Somerset County Council Interactive Map: Logging issues on Rights of Way

Devon County Council: Interactive Map of Rights of Way