Footpaths and Rights of Way

Leigh parish is fortunate in that it possesses over 50 Rights of Way which occur in a variety of landscapes. While the first record of a footpath in Leigh occurred in the village map of 1805 there is little doubt that they existed for many years before that date, indeed many may well date back to Medieval times, and were used by farmers and village folk as they went about their daily activities.

All of the Rights of Way are accessible to both residents and visitors, with many leading directly from the centre of the village. With the passage of time the orientation/route of some have changed, but in most cases the present pattern is a fair reflection of what has existed for many centuries.

Footpath from Back Drove near to The Pound.

Maintaining and Increasing Access

The opportunity to use footpaths as a recreational asset is now recognised as an essential part of both rural and urban life, so footpaths, bridle ways, and byways need to be in good order.

Some footpaths cross stiles and gates which can cause problems for people with limited mobility. This problem has been recognised by Dorset County Council and it is now their policy to erect gates in places where a need is demonstrated

Rights of Way are maintained by Dorset County Council, but those who use them also have a part to play in their upkeep. Users are encouraged to follow the Countryside Code and should remain vigilant, since some footpaths cross pasture land containing livestock.

If you use any footpaths, rights of way etc, please contact our local Footpath Officer if you encounter:

  • Poor signage
  • Too much signage
  • Routes obstructed by foliage or growth
  • Routes obstructed by other items

Rachel Graham, Tel 01935 873 269 or  contact by e-mail