Are you looking for a way to fulfil your digital detox desires while also doing something for your community? Brighton & Hove has 150 km 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.
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.
Volunteer Path Wardens
As part of Brighton & Hove Council’s scheme, to help support the local Park Rangers to monitor and maintain public pathways; I’m now the Volunteer Path Warden for the footpath in Three Cornered Copse, Hove’s largest woodland.
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.
3 Cornered Copse Footpath
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 about 1.2 km end to end, the footpath covers sections of both the wooded area and the open grassland.
Dog Walkers: Please stop decorating the trees with filled waste bags (at any time of year). Put them in the dog bins that have been provided.
What Path Wardens Do
As a voluntary position the Path Wardens in Brighton & Hove are expected to:
- 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
- Send quarterly status reports to the council
Digital Detox… Why Volunteer?
I am always 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 and bit of a digital detox.
“Study by Green Gym (2016) showed volunteers increased physical health by an average 33%, together with a reduction in social isolation”
Taking Path Wardens Digital
Beyond the basic responsibilities of a Path Warden, I have also created and host a digital form, for all the wardens involved in the scheme to digitally submit their status reports.
Until this point the only way to send in surveys was to download and print out a form, that the council had to email out 4 times a year (or provide a hard copy).
Now the local path wardens can simply visit the online form and send their report. Thanks to responsive web design, they can do it from their mobile phone when they are on site, walking their path; saving council resources and the volunteers’ time.
Recent feedback from the council has shown that around 50% of Brighton & Hove’s Volunteer Path Wardens now use the online form, to submit their quarterly reports and raise any issues.
Get Involved & Volunteer
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. Follow this link to find more about the path warden scheme at the bottom of the page. If you know you are ready and just want to dive in; contact the council directly for further info and to register: [email protected]
Founder and strategic mind behind White Rabbit. Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, focused on serving clients with a creative and ethical business model. Digital philanthropist giving time to support charitable groups, projects and organisations; that revolve around the arts, wildlife conservation, local community and heritage crafts.