What local communities can do to improve access

Information about what action local communities can to to improve access to their local countryside.

Local people and the county council improving access

A good network of rights of way and open space and a landscape rich in wildlife improves physical and mental health and supports the local economy through tourism and leisure spending. They also form an important part of an environmentally sustainable transport system, where paths are used for journeys to school, work, shops and local facilities.

Local people have a real role in making a difference to countryside access and the natural environment and we are actively working to encourage this approach. Many parish and town councils and meetings already do fantastic work on their public rights of way and the Countryside Access Team is very grateful for this  - as are the countless local residents and visiting walkers, cyclists and equestrians who use the Oxfordshire countryside.

The aim of our work with communities is to provide information and support to enable local people to carry out countryside access improvements and add value to our core work to define protect and maintain public rights of way.

Our guidance for local communities wanting to improve their countryside

Countryside Access information notes about paths and the planning process and vegetation management - as well as a comprehansive guide to access.  Access staff have produced simple guidance notes that sets out how officers get involved in these major areas of work. Contact details are provided for each note in case you have any follow up queries. For planning related work the Oxfordshire Countryside Access Forum has encouraged local councils and communities to get involved with potential development sites.

We work with the local Ramblers' to support the network of excellent Parish Path Wardens who check local paths and undertake minor work with hand tools. Find out more on their website.