Constitution and policies

The Constitution is the governing document of the Society. It sets out how the Society is to be run. Because PNFS is a charity, the Constitution is bound by charity law. It defines:
  • the objects of the Society – creating, preserving and improving open spaces, public access rights and rights of way
  • the legal duties and powers of the trustees.
The Constitution also sets out how the Society should be managed in practice. This includes rules about:
  • who can be a member
  • how trustees are appointed
  • what decisions the trustees may take
  • how general meetings and management meetings are organised.

Click  HERE to download a copy.

Our purpose and our policies are described below. The policies can also be downloaded.

At least a dozen volunteers and trustees at a meeting in Taylor House

The Peak and Northern Footpaths Society (PNFS) is committed to protecting and improving public rights of way and other access rights, which are an important part of our national heritage.

We seek to influence public bodies to encourage and support those wishing to engage in enjoying the outdoors, including walking, cycling, riding, and running, for people of all ages, abilities, backgrounds, and interests.

Our aim is for all rights of way in our region1 to be open and easy to use.

We record and monitor public rights of way, report problems to highway authorities, and we use appropriate legal action where necessary to preserve public access.

PNFS funds bridges, signposts, and other structures to improve rights of way.


1. Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire and Staffordshire, the former Metropolitan Counties of Greater Manchester, Merseyside, South and West Yorkshire and in Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Derby, Halton, Stoke-on-Trent and Warrington.

Policy documents set out in detail what trustees and members can and cannot do in line with the Constitution. Please email us if you have any questions about our policies.

Donations Towards Footpath Improvements

We can consider offering a donation towards the cost of making improvements to an open space, public right of way or other access point, for example: gates, steps, boardwalks or drainage ditches. This policy explains when we may do this and on what conditions.

Equality Act 2010

This policy states how we’ll ensure that highway authorities uphold the Equality Act 2010. Authorities must make it possible, where viable, for people with disabilities to use public rights of way as others do, by replacing stiles with gates for example. We support authorities in making reasonable adjustments and we oppose them when they don’t.

Equality and Diversity

Our Society is open to everyone. This policy sets out our inclusive and welcoming approach.

Financial Reserves

As required by the Charity Commission, this policy explains what level of financial reserves we must hold and why.

Good Communication

A guide to good practice in all forms of written communication, including emails and text messages.


The Charity Commission suggests that charities with investments should have an investment advisory group or committee. We have such a group, consisting of trustees and a member with financial expertise.

Managing Donations for Funding Improvements

This policy describes our procedure on making a donation to a highways authority towards the cost of funding improvements for a public space or right of way.

Managing Donations Towards Cost of Footbridges

Our policy on making a donation to a highways authority towards the cost of providing a footbridge on a definitive public right of way.

Position on Cycling

This policy explains the Society’s position on cycling on public rights of way. It also includes what we consider to be best practice for shared use paths. The policy primarily addresses the sharing of paths by walkers and cyclists.


Details on how we handle personal information.

Safeguarding Policy and Procedures

PNFS membership is open to anyone over 18. This policy explains our duty of care towards vulnerable people.

Courts and Inquiries Terms of Reference

The Courts and Inquiries Committee is a decision-making committee established in accordance with the PNFS constitution to assist the Society to fulfil its constitutional objects.

ToR for Managing Committee

How the Management Committee is structured and its procedures.