The Footpaths Project’s purpose is to ensure that Debenham and surrounding parishes have a coherent and well signposted network of paths and bridleways now and for the future.
To do this we need first to find out which paths are being used and whether they are free of obstructions and have way marks that are easy to follow. Everyone who walks, rides horses or cycles off-road can help by telling us about their routes.
A simple to use phone app can record your route which can then be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and added to a map which will show how much paths are being used. Details of the recommended app and instructions are further down the page.
You don’t have to sign-up for the projects, just send your tracks. But if you would like to be kept informed about the project please on the form at the bottom of this page. A recommended app and instructions are lower down the page.
There is an official definitive map of footpaths maintained by the county council, but this is unlikely to be complete, nor does it tell how well the paths are maintained. Some may be blocked with barbed wire or ploughed up.
Some ancient rights of way and regularly used paths have not been official recorded and if they are not registered before 2026 they will be lost for ever. The Rambler’s charity estimates there are 10,000 miles of lost paths in England. Some of those will be in Suffolk.
To get started all you need is a mobile phone. If you already have an app to record walks you just need to export your walks as .gpx files and email them to email@example.com.
If not you need to install an app. The one I use View Ranger which is available free for both Apple and Android systems but there are others.
This is what you have to do to add your walk to the Paths Project records.
- Open app
- Press big plus symbol twards the bottom of the map
- Select “record track”
- Click on what you are doing eg Walking
- Put phone in your pocket and enjoy walk
- At end of walk press “Pause” at the bottom of the screen
- Press Finish
- Press Save Track
- Press line of three dots at the top of the screen
- Select “Export to GPX” from options
- Under “File saved” message press “send”
- Select email
- Enter firstname.lastname@example.org in the “To” area.
- Send email
The track can then be added to a map whichwill build a picture of how paths are being used. An example of what walks look like on a map is here.
I am hopeful that the project will be supported by the Parish Council although the primary responsibility for Rights of Way is the County Council’s.
Privacy: All routes submitted may be used on maps shown on the website. The originators will not be identified unless they are asked for and give consent.