• wcfps@btconnect.com

Path Clearing



WCFPS members regularly undertake path clearance work.

This applies both to long neglected paths and paths that have become unusable due to seasonal growth. Our priority is to clear paths that are included in our Walks Programme.

Typically, Path Clearing Days take place each month out of the Bird Nesting Season. The dates are given in the Walk Programme and the place is either by phoning the WCFPS RoW Officer or by following the WCFPS on Facebook or watching for the announcements on this website.

A WCFPS Path Clearing party.

Keeping our paths open is a significant task. The responsibility for keeping paths open is a shared one and quite complex. It is not uncommon, especially in the summer months that some paths become overgrown and unusable.

Cornwall has over 2,700 miles of Public Rights of Way, and a significant percentage of these are to be found in our walking areas of West Cornwall and the Lizard. For example, the parishes of St. Just in Penwith and Wendron each have over 200 Public Footpaths and Bridleways.

In broad terms Cornwall Council is responsible for tackling surface growth, and Landowners for the side growth. Cornwall Council works in partnership with most Local Councils (mainly Parishes) through Local Maintenance Partnerships whereby the local council receives funding from CC to employ contractors to clear selected paths in their area.

Paul No 17, after clearing

Funding is limited and only the main paths are cleared.  Finding overgrown or a ‘grown in’ path is sadly therefore a feature of our countryside.

If you are aware of serious issues that prevent you from using a path, please report it to the Countryside Access team at Cornwall Council.

Click here to REPORT A PROBLEM

Also use this link to report Path Obstructions, Ploughing and Cropping issues, and any other problem relating to use of a Public Right of Way.

Path Clearing Tips!

  • The most effective way of keeping any path open is to walk it – frequently!
  • Take a pair of secateurs with you to cut back seasonal growth and especially brambles.
  • Pay particular attention to stiles which can easily become choke points.
  • Litter. Its unsightly. A black bag is a useful addition to a rucksack to collect and dispose anything found.
  • One of the tasks which will be possible to carry out at any time of year is replacing Green PRoW Signs which have been damaged or ‘met with an accident’. There are a great number of these making it difficult for many walkers to be sure the path they are about to take is actually a public right of way.
  • The clearing is undertaken with only hand tools, no power tools or heavy plant.