WR Adopts a Local Path

Brighton & Hove has 150km of public footpaths, bridleways and byways. These paths stretch from the sea, through the city and out into the South Downs National Park, all forming part of the UNESCO Biosphere – The Living Coast. As part of Brighton & Hove Council’s scheme, to help support the local Park Rangers to monitor and maintain public pathways; White Rabbit is now the official Path Warden for the footpath in Three Cornered Copse, Hove’s largest woodland.

Brighton & Hove City Council is responsible for the public rights of way around the city: footpaths, bridleways, restricted byways and byways open to all traffic. The council is also responsible for rights of way in the South Downs National Park, if they fall within the authority boundaries.

The council has duties under the Highways Act 1980 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. To make sure that all rights of way are free from obstruction and other nuisance preventing or deterring the public from using a path. This includes sign posting, vegetation clearance, surface improvement and maintaining, enhancing and promoting the existing network.

Beyond the basic responsibilities of a Path Warden, we have also created and host a digital form, for all the wardens involved in the scheme to submit their surveys. Until this point the only way to submit surveys was to download and print out a form, that the council had to send out 4 times a year (or provide a hard copy). Now the wardens can simply visit the mobile friendly web page and fill out the online form. They can even do it when they are on site, saving council resources and everyone’s time.


About The Scheme

The aim of the council’s Adopt-a-Path Scheme is to help increase people’s use and enjoyment of our public rights of way network. People who use the same paths regularly are encouraged to join the scheme. As a minimum members survey the route at least 4 times a year (once in every season).

The Volunteer Path Warden scheme encourages volunteers to adopt paths they use regularly and assist with their upkeep; to ensure they are open and accessible for everyone, creating healthier and happier communities.

“Report by the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support (2014) revealed that walking can prevent 37,000 deaths per year and slash the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, stroke and cancer by 20-50%”

About Three Cornered Copse

Three Cornered Copse is a hidden gem in the built up residential and urban area of upper Hove. The copse is a triangle of land, partly wooded and partly open grassland. It climbs the North slope of the Goldstone Valley, creating a valuable woodland corridor for wildlife, from Hove Park to the South Downs National Park. Used by native and migratory birds; besides other local wildlife, human residents and visitors alike.

Find out more about Three Cornered Copse at the Friends of the Copse website here.

Three Cornered Copse

About The Path

Used regularly by walkers, joggers, cyclists, dog walkers and horse risers; the copse has both a public footpath and public bridleway, from the entrance at the bottom of Woodland Drive to the top of the copse at Dyke Road. Stretching approx. 1.2km end to end, the footpath covers sections of both the wooded area and the open grassland.

What Path Wardens Do

  • Walk or ride the route regularly (at least 4 times a year)
  • Report any problems to the council
  • Help with cutting back vegetation from signs, stiles and gates
  • Promote responsible use of the path

Why Volunteer?

White Rabbit is keen to give back to the local community, especially when urban wildlife and nature is involved. Providing time and resources to local projects that improve and better the environment for all; and relieving much needed local council budget. An added bonus is getting away from the computer screen and out in the fresh air, for a healthy walk.

“Study by Green Gym (2016) showed volunteers increased physical health by an average 33%, together with a reduction in social isolation”

Get Involved

If you have a regular walk, cycle or horse ride you enjoy in Brighton & Hove and want to help looking after the path you use, why not volunteer to be a Path Warden. There is some more about the scheme at the bottom of this page. If you know you are ready and just want to dive in; contact the council direct for further info and to register: