|Lane clearing at South Emlett near
Devon Green Lanes Group’s remit is:
"To Preserve and Record the Green Lanes and Public
Rights of Way of the County." It is open to all user groups and
The aims of the Group are:
1. To protect and record Devon's Green Lanes.
2. To monitor and comment on the Definitive Map
Review including researching routes.
3. To comment on proposed diversions if they affect
the integrity of the Definitive Map.
4. To support other PRoW User Groups e.g. the Ramblers,
BHS, TRF, and GLASS if possible and necessary.
5. To welcome those interested in using or being
involved with the Green Lanes.
Devon Green Lanes Group (DGLG) was set up some years
ago and currently has representatives from different User Groups e.g.
British Horse Society,
Green Lane Association,
Trail Riders Fellowship.
main interest of the Group is to preserve and protect the Green Lanes in
Devon, to record them and to also monitor and contribute to Devon County
Council’s Definitive Map Review process.
Members from the User
Groups represented on DGLG work together on “lane clearing days” and
assist with other Public Rights of Way (PRoW) maintenance. In addition
to clearing and maintenance work, DGLG also encourages PRoW users to
report obstructions etc. to the appropriate
Devon County Council
Area Highway Management Office.
As part of its research role, the DGLG is
involved in identifying lost public ways and is keen to improve Devon’s
PRoW network such that it is inclusive and accessible to all
categories of user.
What are DGLG’s constraints in fulfilling its objectives?
Lack of resources mainly in terms of people and time.
Collecting evidence “manually” from sources such as the Devon Records
Office, PRoW office at County Hall, the Public Records Office at Kew,
Parish records where these are still held by Parish Clerks, etc, is very
time consuming and an inefficient use of voluntary researchers’ time.
DGLG campaigns for the digitisation of these records and making them
available (free of charge) over the Internet. This must be a priority if
all “lost ways” are to be properly researched and recorded on the
Definitive Map before the cut-off date imposed by the Countryside and
Rights of Way Act 2000 of 1 January 2026.
It is difficult for
some DGLG members to represent their views at County level when DCC
holds User Group meetings etc during working hours. This means that, in
effect, those members in work are unable to express their views in a
debating situation where other interested parties, such as the NFU and
landowners, are represented.
What are DGLG’s top priorities for improving access to the Devon
countryside for those who use it for travel and recreation?
(a) Improving signage for PRoWs and,
particularly unsurfaced Unclassified County Roads (UCRs), is a top priority to let
the public know exactly what ways are available and to which category of user(s). Missing or incorrect signage is the biggest single cause of
conflict between landowners and PRoW users.
all public “Lost Ways” on Devon’s Definitive Map as soon as
(c) Adding new linking routes to the Definitive
Map to provide more circular routes, perhaps using Creation Orders where
(d) Devon’s unsurfaced UCRs represents a substantial
“hidden” resource that is available to all categories of user. However,
there is no equivalent of the Definitive Map that can provide members of
the public with their locations. Users cannot be confident that those
UCRs shown on OS maps as ORPAs are 100% available without a trip to
County Hall to check the Land Charges maps. It is quite common that the
maps held in Area Highway Management Offices have been amended over the
years to suit local circumstances with no “legal event” having taken
place to remove user rights.
(e) Educating the general
public about PRoW issues, through leaflets, radio and TV campaigns, and
assisting user groups with their own production of educative
(f) Thorough investigation of any allegations
of illegal use so that other users are not wrongly tarred with the same
(g) Proper consultation on PRoW issues by Devon
County Council with all user groups, including minuting the PRoW Joint
User Group so that members can check that all issues raised and
discussed have been properly understood, recorded and followed up where
(h) Encouraging Devon County Council to make
better use of its PRoW web pages to inform and communicate information
to the public e.g. having a new web page recording all Definitive Map
Modification Order (DMMOs) with a link to the appropriate PRoW Committee
minute(s), recording the progress of the Definitive Map review
against every Parish including keeping the pages up-to-date with maps
etc as they become live, and publishing all the Statements to accompany
the online Definitive Map. Also, because RoW information does not go
"out of date" as such, minutes and reports of the PRoW Committee should
not be archived and all available papers published going back as far as
What vision does DGLG have for improved access to the countryside in
Devon over the next ten years?
(a) That all PRoWs (including UCRs) are properly
signed, open, clear, and linked.
(b) That every PRoW has
an up to date Definitive Statement (available via the Internet),
describing its physical nature, as a protection against incursion, etc.
improving the accuracy of the Definitive Map.
advice provided on available PRoW (including UCRs) through better use of
the Internet and liaison with OS mapping such that the public can have
confidence in using PRoW shown as such on OS maps.
PRoWs kept clear of obstructions and accessible. Barbed wire, abandoned
farm machinery, fly tipping and dumped cars are particular
(e) “Furniture” on PRoWs maintained to a good
standard and remove that which is not appropriate to the category of
user e.g. stiles on Bridlepaths.
Contacts for Devon Green Lanes Group:
Tel: 01460 63586
||costs £5 pa to cover printing and posting of agendas and minutes
and other minor administrative costs - to join please send cheque
made payable to Devon Green Lanes Group to Head Office with your
||to assist the Group in its research work are always gratefully
received as this is all voluntary!|
||are usually monthly and are held at the Thistle Hotel, Queens
Street, Exeter on the 1st Thursday of each month commencing at