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Become a rights of way volunteer

Town and parish councils within Dorset are encouraged to elect a Rights of Way Liaison Officer to be the link between the town or parish council and Dorset Council.

Become a volunteer

Contact your local town or parish council to become a Rights of Way Liaison Officer.

Ideally Rights of Way liaison officers will be parish councillors (or seconded onto the parish council) and will have good local knowledge not only of the local rights of way network but also the owners and tenants of land in the parish.

If the liaison officer is doing practical rights of way work the parish council will usually be responsible for their insurance. This is extremely important for all concerned.

The Regulation Team holds and updates the master copy of the Definitive Map, your town/parish council may also have a copy. You can access a digitised map of Dorset's rights of way at  Dorset Explorer. You will be notified of the creation, diversion, modification and extinguishment orders as they are made

The role of a Rights of Way Liaison Officer

The role includes:

  • encouraging volunteers to help keep the rights of way network in good condition

  • promoting schemes that involve schools and others in rights of way matters

  • liaising with the local representatives of national bodies to promote understanding between path users, landowners and tenants

  • maintaining regular contact with council officers who are involved in making modification, diversion and extinguishment orders

  • promoting rights of way information and news through your parish magazine and other media

  • communicating with representatives of neighbouring parishes to ensure continuity because paths generally do not recognise the administrative council boundaries

  • liaising closely with the Green Space Management Team on matters such as path signing, way-marking and resolution of problems on the network. Local knowledge is usually the key to progress

  • being responsible for the town/parish council Rights of Way Information Pack and rights of way related correspondence

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