Sometimes people openly use a route without permission and never know that it is not on the key map and descriptions of Public Rights of Way, which is called the Definitive Map and Statement. Some of these unclaimed and unrecorded paths are on Ordnance Survey maps or in other historical records.
At least one such path runs across grassland known as Egan’s Field above Cilfynydd, and I was contacted by a regular user after fencing was installed, creating fields for horses to graze. It is one of many beautiful places for views over Pontypridd and the Valleys.
Obviously, if there is historic and user evidence for a right of way, then an application can be submitted to modify the Definitive Map. At the moment, the nearest recorded path is Footpath 4 Pontypridd, which I joined above Egan’s Field through Bodwenarth barns, off Albion Court. People do seem to use other ways.
Soon I arrived at a large tree with swing attached, and the fenced area, with a fenced way through. This is not the most used route, but with pressure to get home for Fantasy Football transfers, I decided to get a feel of FP 4 and the area.
The well-worn walled path follows the hillside, and there were more enclosures by electric fencing and horses grazing between the fence and the wall.
One pony was quite nosey.
Wild roses and foxgloves were among the flowers as the path neared Penrheol Ely Road, which runs up to Egwlysilan Common.
I later reported flytipping which was just out of sight of the road, and it should be removed shortly. I headed back on the path, with sheep on the other side from the horses.
It is too early to know if there is an unclaimed right of way, not noticed until the change in the use of the field. Phil Wade of the Open Spaces Society has co-authored a book with Sarah Bucks “Restoring the Record” which outlines the process, and routes in Wales, as in England, may disappear after 2026 if they remain unclaimed.