16 January 2013
The first P4C newsletter: (356kb) is now available.
22 November 2012
A promotional leaflet and “6 steps to P4C” have been produced to help promote the P4C scheme. These can be downloaded and used at events as marketing tools.
Paths for Communities is a funding scheme set up to develop and enhance the network of Public Rights of Way (PROW) in England in order to deliver benefits to rural areas. Local community partnerships are eligible to bid to Natural England for funds.
The aim of P4C is to encourage and support local communities to work with land owners to make improvements to the network of Public Rights of Way. In all cases P4C projects must include some element of new Public Right of Way creation. In most cases projects will include an element of new Bridleway creation but projects that include Footpath creation alone will also be considered where community and economic benefit can be demonstrated.
Applicants for P4C grant should also consider how to secure:
Improvements to existing Public Rights of Way that encourage use by a wider range of people with different needs (e.g. improved accessibility for wheelchairs and pushchairs, benches for elderly);
Improvements to the network to increase the opportunity for access on foot, cycle or horse and to widen the appeal to visitors and residents;
Promotion of the improved network to encourage more use and better support for local services such as shops, pubs, hotels, bed and breakfasts, attractions and cycle and equestrian businesses;
Better integration with public transport services and links to popular destinations.
P4C will operate over the 2 year period from May 2012 to March 2014, with a total fund of £2m. The Applicant Handbook: (315kb) (updated February 2013) explains the detail of the scheme and Frequently Asked Questions: (199kb) may help address questions you have.
If there are any questions we haven’t answered, please direct them to our email: P4C@naturalengland.org.uk.
For a basic summary of the P4C scheme, start by looking at the P4C leaflet: (233kb) and 6 steps to P4C: (22kb). Both these documents are a useful introduction to the scheme and we encourage that they are used at events and meetings to attract potential new schemes.
There’s lots of useful information available about Public Rights of Way, but we particularly draw your attention to:
the Defra Circular which gives advice to local authorities on recording, managing and maintaining, protecting and changing public rights of way;
the recently revised guide to Creating Multi-user Public Rights of Way produced by The Trails Trust.
P4C is funded by the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) so each P4C project must deliver some of its benefit in a defined rural area. To help you decide if your project includes rural areas, you can use MAGIC, the Defra web-based interactive map service by following these simple instructions:
Select: ‘Interactive map’
Under select topic -pick: ‘Design my own topic’
In pop up window, select ‘2001 Settlements’ and press ‘done’
Under where do you want to go, select ‘Postcode’ or ‘place’
Agree to the terms and conditions and press 'open map'
You can then move around the map
Urban areas are shown as grey cross hatch – anything else is rural
Remember the definition is based on population where <10,000 is rural (If you click on the ‘i’ symbol and then click anywhere on the grey cross hatch it tells you the resident population as at the 2001 Census,2011 to be published soon)
Remember, not all of the project has to be in rural areas, you simply have to demonstrate some rural benefit.
To complete the Expression of Interest form download the form, fill it in, save it on your computer then attach the saved document (as a .doc or .txt) to an email to the central team. Any problems please contact the central team.
If your project is eligible, we will put you in touch with a Natural England Local Grants Officer who will work with you to develop the best possible application. Application forms are only available to groups after they have had discussion with the Local Grants Officer.
Submitted applications will be scored and the best ones passed to our Grants Panel who will meet monthly to assess the projects and decide which projects will be awarded funding. To make the process as transparent as possible we have published our assessment form: (20kb).
As the project develops, we will add any new material, guidance or information to this page.