The Trails Trust
the trails trust
Creating multi-user public rights of way
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  • The Trails Trust - Articles of Association
  • About this document. TTT was incorporated in 1997 as a company limited by guarantee - registration number 3637593. TTT became a charity in 2002 - registration number 1094139. The articles of association have been updated several times - this document is the latest. The Articles form the constitution, define the responsibilities of the Council of Management (the Trustees) and the business to be undertaken. There are a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 10 trustees.

  • Trust guide to creating rights of way - Download (FREE)
  • Creating Multi-User Public Rights of Way - A Guide for Local Groups written by Rachel Thompson MBE for The Trails Trust in 2011. About this document - the book was supported by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and by Natural England. The book explains in detail TTT's unique approach in using simple voluntary dedications by landowners to secure permanent rights of way. Other mechanisms are also discussed. The book is used by user groups nationally - most particularly in the recent past to secure new routes under the Government's Paths For Community Fund (P4C) 2012 -2013. The book should be read in conjunction with other documents about express dedication / creation of highways in this library.



  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) letter to Natural England (NE) 2012.
  • (David Waterman Defra to Paul Johnson NE)
    About this letter - the letter was intended to offer guidance on legal and practical issues relating to the express dedication of public rights of way at common law (EDCL) in England. It represents Defra's view of the current law. It can be circulated as general guidance to interested parties such as local community groups and local authorities.

  • Upper Vobster, parishes of Coleford and Mells. Appeal, public inquiry and appeal papers (5 documents). 2012 / 2013
  • About these documents. The Trails Trust approach has been tested (once only) at public inquiry following the refusal of Somerset County Council to make an order to show as a bridleway on the County Council's Definitive Map and Statement a route currently shown as a footpath, leading from the public highway in the Hamlet of Upper Vobster to Dark Lane in the parish of Coleford. The appeal and PI (Inspectors Millman / Cruickshank) is an important discussion of principles - express dedication by owners and adjacent owners (where land is unowned), user acceptance, maintenance by LHA, consent of mortgagee, nuisance to users of upgrading footpath to bridleway. The bridleway order was confirmed following a correcting of the alignment due to a mapping error.

  • Multi user cycle tracks - the case for horse inclusion.
  • About these documents. A useful set of documents providing evidence that horses should be included as a matter of course on all existing and proposed new paths (surfaced cycle tracks, greenways, multi user paths developed by councils and others).

  • Matthew White, St John's Chambers, 101 Victoria Street - The Trails Trust and the Creation of Highways advice 29/8/17
  • About this document. TTT asked barrister Matthew White to advise on creation of highways at common law, in particular in the light of reluctance on the part of some (by no means all) local authorities to recognise highways that have not been created within a statutory framework.

  • 2017 Highway Creation through Express Dedication Thompson
  • This paper resulted from the Express Dedication Group (comprising representatives from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Natural England (NE), the Institute of Public Rights of Way and Access Management (IPROW), a local highway and surveying local authority (LA), the British Horse Society (BHS) and The Trails Trust (TTT)). It provides a legal basis for both the Defra Guidance and an analysis of the benefits of using highway creation through express dedication and acceptance for landowners and the public who want to use this method to create bridleways. A protocol to enable authorities to accept and correctly record express dedications at common law is also included.

  • Government 25 Environment Plan 2018 / Agriculture Bill
  • The plan can be found here. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/693158/25-year-environment-plan.pdf TTT has responded to the passage of the Agriculture bill (scrutiny committee) which is associated with the plan and submitted a trial proposal within the Mendip Hills AONB area.

  • TTT has GDPR policies adopted in 2018. Find these here.