Peak & Northern Footpaths Society (est.1894)

Path Checkers

The Path Checkers initiative was launched in early 2020. Its aim is to encourage a wide range of people to report possible footpath issues to the society as easily as possible.

The recommend method of reporting is via the mobile phone app, OS Locate. The app is free and runs on both Android and iPhones. Full details of the app can be viewed by clicking HERE.

The apps default display is shown below.

At the top of the screen is a compass which shows the direction the user is facing. Next is the users current 6 figure Grid Reference and below this is the 'Share my location' option. Path Checkers are encouraged to use this option to generate the 'issue reporting' email as this automatically includes in the email both the grid reference and a weblink to the Ordnance Survey's website which can be used to show the location on an outline map. An example would be 'I am here SK 123 852 sent by OS Locate app.,-1.81537,12

The Path Checker should enter a brief description of the issue after the preformatted information and attach one or more photographs of the issue. The email should be sent to

You will soon be able report issues via a form on the website

All Path Checker reports will be logged and acknowledged within 7 days. A reported issue will be assessed and any necessary steps to resolve them will be initiated. The Path Checker will be kept up to date with what is being done to resolve the issue.

Issues which should be reported include Obstructions, Stiles, Bridges, Animals, Surface Condition, and Signs.


Obstructions of the way constitute the most serious faults, such as:

  • Barbed wire, e.g. across stiles or around gates. You are entitled to remove any such obstruction, but you must be certain that it lies on the line of the path.
  • Electrified fences.
  • Crops and ploughing. Briefly, a farmer is allowed to disturb the surface of a path but must reinstate within 14 days. Headland paths (field edge paths) must not be ploughed.
  • Landslips.
  • Large holes. These are often caused by open-cast mining or quarrying.
  • Streams or ditches which cannot easily be crossed. Because of modern excavation machinery, some dykes have been widened or deepened to such an extent that crossing is impossible without a bridge.
  • Buildings. These can include farm buildings, housing, industrial development, road construction or widening, extended gardens, car parks, golf  courses, sports pitches, etc.
  • Locked gates. (Or those very difficult to open.)
  • By person, for instance ‘get off my land’. Try to encourage the person to do all the talking, to ascertain when they believe the path was diverted or closed, so that a full report can be submitted. You will have to decide, based on the circumstances, whether to proceed or gracefully withdraw.

Stiles and Bridges

A stile or bridge which is is difficult and/or dangerous to use should be reported. Walkers vary immensely in agility and head for heights, so a stile which an athletic rock climber will enjoy scrambling over in fifteen seconds may be so defective that most other walkers will take several frightening minutes to get over it. Please apply the test  ‘Can this right of way be used safely and easily by everyone who is likely to walk it?' Every stile should have a stepboard and a secure handhold – without these it is merely a fence.


Surface Condition

Where the path surface is boggy, covered by water, mud, dung, overgrown vegetation, or ruts, and these faults cannot easily be bypassed, so that walking over the way is much more arduous than users should reasonably expect in such a location having regard to prevailing weather, then these should be reported.


Related pages

Download the Path Checkers Flyer Inspection Video

Page title:Path Checkers
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