Patchetts Green Bridleways Trust
 PG: OBJECTS: EDUCATION: Triage Evidence Form
Where a route has been used for a long time by the public, it may have become a highway through common law or from the statutory presumption of dedication. [1] This can be rebutted by evidence of certain actions by the landowner.

We use an Evidence Triage Form to collect enough information from users of a route to enable us to see whether the statutory tests are likely to have been met and that a path has therefore come into existence. When we think there is enough evidence to make an application, we may contact relevant witnesses to get a fuller statement to submit to the council or to the Secretary of State.

The aim of this page is to explain how to fill in the evidence form. If any question is left unanswered we can't use the form.

TOPThe top of the form asks for information about the person who has used the path. This is really important, as without this information, we can't get back in touch to clarify anything or to take a fuller statement. When we make an application, the council will also wish to speak to selected witnesses to confirm the statements. The personal information is covered by our privacy policy. We don't use it for anything other than path work.
1How did you use the path? Tick the relevant box. If you used the path in two modes, tick two boxes. If this is a route you used in a horse drawn vehicle, write in the words 'Horse drawn vehicle'.
2This question wants to know when you used the route. On the first underline, write the year when you first used the route, and on the second underline, write the year when you last used the route. This might be this year. If you have a gap in usage, perhaps you were out of the area for a few years, you should write this in too as "except 2004 to 2007" for example.
3This question wants to know how often you used the path. Did you use it daily, weekly or monthly? Perhaps twice a month? Please be as precise as possible. Over a long period, there are bound to be days when you didn't use the path. If in doubt, acknowledge 'except for holidays and when ill' for example.
4This question wants to know if there was anything across the path such as a gate or stile, a 'horse hop' or any other structure. If for example there was a gate half way along the path, circle 'Yes', mark the structure on the plan perhaps with a small cross and writing 'gate' (or as appropriate). After the question, say when the gate was there: "There was always a gate at point X, but it had a space to the side" or "There was a gate since about 2003 but it was not locked." or "A gate appeared last year which stopped me using the route." The more information you give, the easier it is to assess the evidence.
5Were there any notices on the route? Maybe a council sign said 'footpath' or a farm sign saying 'keep left'. Whatever you've seen on any signage needs to be recorded here, or answer 'No' if there was no signage when you were using the path. If there were signs, we need to know what they said and the year(s) they were present.
6If you were employed by or a tenant of the land owner, you should answer 'Yes' here and say who the empoyer or landlord was and the dates of employment or tenancy. Horse riders should also answer 'Yes' if the horse was kept at a yard owned by the landowner, and say underneath "Horse was kept at (yard name) which is owned by (name of owner) from (date) to (date)".
7If anyone ever asked you not to use the path you should answer 'Yes' here and give details. We need to know when you were asked not to use the path and who asked you. For example, "The farmer asked me not to use the path during Foot and Mouth.", "A dog walker once asked me not to use the path as the horse scared her dog." or "I was asked to avoid the path during the shooting season." The more information you can give, the more useful it will be.
8Sometimes, people ask a neighbour or friend if they can walk or ride a route on the neighbour's or friend's land. If you have asked someone for permission, you need to tell us about it here. Who did you ask? When did you ask them?
ENDIf you need more space for any of the details above, write 'YES' where marked and fill in on the reverse of the form.

Finally, please don't forget to sign and date the form!

When you have filled in the form, please return it to the person collecting the forms. For routes covered by this website, they can be sent to
Phil Wadey (PGBT/BHS), 12 Home Close, Newlands Road, CORSHAM SN13 0BE
If you have used the path with other people, you can send their forms back in the same envelope. Do also consider supporting the Trust, either by registering as a supporter or sending a few unused stamps with your form. Supporter forms can be returned in the same envelope as evidence forms.

[1] s.31 Highways Act 1980.

© 2020 Phil Wadey