LOVERS of the great outdoors are being urged to make the most of more then 200 footpaths across Lincolnshire, while they can.
Lincolnshire and Rutland Local Access Forums (LAF) are alerting the public and parish councils to the loss of paths. Some have closed already.
They include 16 in Gainsborough and the surrounding area.
Government funding for grant aided Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) walking and riding routes is coming to an end, with the potential loss of 198 permissive footpaths and bridleways in Lincolnshire and Rutland.
The forums want people to enjoy them while they can, and are encouraging parish councils to take an active interest in their future.
Land owners have created the permissive routes in exchange for public money via various agri-environment schemes.
Some paths have already closed as HLS agreements ended, but others will stay open for another few years, with the last paths closing in 2020.
Many are widely publicised and feature on walking leaflets, while others are virtually unknown.
“The HLS footpaths and bridleway have become established as an important part of the countryside access network,” said Coun Ray Wootten, chairman of the South Lincolnshire and Rutland LAF.
“Some form vital links in the public rights of way network whilst others have been incorporated into popular walking leaflets.”
Full route details can be found online at www.cwr.defra.gov.uk