High Weald

Vision for routeways
A landscape in which the character of the distinctive lanes and Rights of Way is protected and a balance achieved between the comparative quietness and rurality of the roads of the High Weald and their function as communications central to the economic and social well being of the area. The management will take account of, and indeed is partly stimulated by increasing road traffic, safety concerns, increased leisure activities (riding, cycling, walking and off-road driving), under use of many Rights of Way, and expanding development.
The vision can be realised through refinement of existing policies and designations that seek to protect archaeology and ecology, and that restrict ribbon development, and through refinement of policies and guidelines that seek to respect the character of lanes and Rights of Way by encouraging use of sympathetic surfacing materials and boundary types; reducing unnecessary use of highway furniture; and by promoting selected walking, cycling and riding routes.

Top 5 issues for routeways

  • Traffic – car and lorry numbers increasing on the network of narrow lanes, with implications for safety, non-vehicular use, and tranquillity
  • Threat – from RoW diversion and uncontrolled loss and damage to unidentified features
  • Suburbanisation – introduction of non-native species, inappropriate boundaries and gates, and intrusive highway engineering
  • Poor understanding – of the resource and the management needed to conserve the roads and non-vehicular routeways, for their ecology, archaeology, and their potential for informal recreation and non- vehicular transport
  • Lack of protection – the vast majority of ancient routeways in the High Weald have no protection, leaving them exposed to mis-management