A WALKING charity is asking for Ryedale residents’ support in discovering missing pathways in their area - before it’s too late.

The Ramblers, which promotes the protection of pathways, has launched a project called Don’t Lose Your Way to discover missing paths before the government’s deadline in 2026.

The charity has warned if these paths are not claimed by January 1, 2026, it will no longer be possible to add them to the maps and the public’s right to access them will not be protected in the future.

So far, the project has recorded more than 49,138 miles of missing pathways in the UK - with the second highest recorded in North Yorkshire and Ryedale amounting to more than 2,651.

The charity is now encouraging Ryedale residents to discover missing pathways in their area.

“Paths are my passion, but like many walkers I took them for granted in the early days,” said John Bainbridge, a Ramblers volunteer and campaigner.

“Walk a path and you are walking in the steps of countless generations, who walked the same way for work or pleasure. Yet these paths could so easily slip away and it’s only when things have gone that people tend to regret what they’ve lost.

“I knew there were quite a lot of paths that weren’t on the definitive map, but I hadn’t realised how many. We have got to get out there, find the historic evidence for these paths, and save them.

“It’s going to be a massive, massive job, and we really need as many people as possible to get involved, in whatever way they can.”

The project has seen volunteers search 154,000 one-kilometre squares of England and Wales using an online mapping tool to uncover lost rights of way which were left off the council maps drawn up in the 1950s. Thousands of people took part and helped discover 49,138 miles of missing paths - nearly five times more than the Ramblers original estimate.

“The amazing response we had from the public to help us search for missing rights of way just goes to show what an important place our path network holds in the hearts of so many of us,” said Jack Cornish, programme manager of Don’t Lose Your Way.

“By getting the most useful of these paths back on the map, we will not only be saving a little bit of our history, we’ll also be able to improve the existing network, creating new and better walking routes, enabling more of us to more easily enjoy the outdoors.”

For more information, visit ramblers.org.uk/DLYW