Your Paths Need You!

Members of the Society who also belong to The Ramblers will be aware that the Oxfordshire Area of The Ramblers is promoting the establishment of Volunteer Parish Path Wardens throughout the county. Thirty parishes that lie in the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty have such wardens under the Cotswold Wardens. Twenty-seven parishes in the Chiltern Hills have wardens under the aegis of the Chiltern Society. Over the last 4 months seventy-five volunteers have come forward to look after the path network in their parishes. This still leaves 190 parishes in the county that do not yet have a warden.

The main role of a path warden is to monitor the paths in a parish on a regular basis, and report major problems to the County Council’s Countryside Access Service. He/she may also do light trimming of vegetation that is overgrowing the path, particularly at gates, stiles and bridges, thus keeping the paths in the parish easy to walk along.

It is noteworthy that the latest draft of the revised and updated Oxfordshire Rights of Way Plan welcomes and endorses the development of Parish Path Wardens, recognising the contribution that they can make to the maintenance of the quality of the path infrastructure and network.

If any Society member would like further details on volunteering to become a Parish Path Warden please contact me on

Jim Parke