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About us

The Ringwood and Fordingbridge Footpath Society was formed in 1974 to protect the interests of users of public paths by ensuring (a) their reasonable maintenance and freedom from obstruction and (b) their adequate signposting and waymarking. It aims to urge local authorities to discharge their responsibilities with regard to public paths and seeks to foster and maintain friendly cooperation between path users, landowners, local authorities and the community generally. We participate with Councils in surveying, improving and maintaining local paths and devising healthy walks and many other circular walking routes which are published in leaflet form.

The Society's area is made up of thirteen parishes and covers about 160 square kilometres of greatly varied countryside ranging from quiet water meadows to high wind-blown common, from the edge of the New Forest to the borders of Cranborne Chase. A variety of flora and fauna including deer may be seen and within the New Forest, grazing ponies, cattle, donkeys, sheep and pigs may be met. Although we are essentially a footpath protection organisation, we believe that the best way of maintaining the network in good order is to make good and regular use of it.

The Society provides a comprehensive programme of guided walks and social events throughout the year that are published in “Waymark”, the quarterly magazine that is sent out free to all members. This magazine is also available on our website.

Newcomers to the area, prospective new members and visitors are very welcome to join us for walks in these delightfully varied parts of Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire. Many of our walks take place on the rights of way in our 13 parishes in an area of wonderfully contrasting scenery, from the New Forest to the rolling chalk downlands. We also venture to other areas such as the coastline of Dorset and the rural landscapes of southern Wiltshire, Dorset and Hampshire.

Welcome to the website of the Ringwood and Fordingbridge Footpath Society. Newcomers to the area, prospective new members and visitors are very welcome to join us for walks in these delightfully varied parts of Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire. Our walks normally take place in an area of wonderfully contrasting scenery, from the New Forest to the rolling chalk downlands and coastline of Dorset and the rural landscapes of southern Wiltshire.


"Waymark" is the quarterly newsletter of the RFFS. It is published in March, June, September and December. Download a copy here.  Click here to contact the editor for more information about submitting articles and photos. 













Regular copies of this newsletter are sent to Members.  Would you like to join us?  Just CLICK HERE to download the Application for Membership, print it out, fill it in and send it to our Membership Secretary either on-line or by post, the addresses are on the form.  You can send payment for £4 for a single member or £6 for family membership on-line by BACS or with a posted cheque.  


Photo on walk from Abbotswell to Dur Hill © D Knapp 2012


National Trust Newsletter


The Winter edition has all the news about the winter topics and events.  Click here to download




Minutes of  the AGM


We had to cancel the 2020 AGM to comply with the Lock-down regulations. We will keep you informed of new arrangements as soon as possible.


Click here to download a copy of the Minutes of the meeting on 18 March 2019



Walks Start Again


We are delighted that the government has now confirmed that organised walking groups are included in the outdoor sports and physical activities which can resume on Monday, March 29th. We are exempt from legal gathering limits, however RFFS are imposing a limit of 18 on a walk for the time being. You must therefore book your place with the walk leader before attending a walk. Go to our Events page for the new programme and all the details.


Make sure that you keep up to date with our Facebook page.  


To keep you walking at any time, we are reissuing a selection of the RFFS Walks leaflets and those from Hampshire County Council's Countryside series - on-line and free of charge. Go to our Self-Guided Routes.

If or when you manage to go on any of the scheduled walks on the Events page or our NEW self-guided walks, please feel free to post photos or comments up on our FACEBOOK PAGE. It would be lovely for us all to stay connected during these difficult weeks and to exchange news about how much exercise and good fun we have all managed to have.  Facebook is, after all, a way of keeping in touch with one another. 

The Avon Valley Footpath


On 11th December a small gathering took place in Fordingbridge Churchyard to celebrate the installation of a new Avon Valley Footpath Information Board. The full route is described and details can be obtained by zapping the QR code on the board. There is also information about St Mary's Church and the town of Fordingbridge.


This long distance path takes walkers between Salisbury Cathedral and Christchurch Priory. 


The photo shows, from left to right .

Canon Gary Pilbrick (Vicar of Fordingbridge), Edward Hale (Mayor of Fordingbridge), Ruth Croker  (Chairman of Ringwood and Fordingbridge Footpath Society), Rowan Brockhurst (President),  Canon Tim Daykin (a former vicar of Fordingbridge and now Membership Secretary of the Footpath Society).  

Hurst Spit to Lymington Project


Although Hurst Spit and the surrounding area is not part of our patch it is an area where many of you have visited and walked. The Environment Agency are keen to get a lot of people to respond.

The remedial work is likely to be costly. 

To download the Environment Agency - Citizen Space information page JUST CLICK HERE

HMG Petition


The Lost Ways could be lost for ever.  The legal process to add them to the Definitive Map is long and tedious.  COVID has added to delays.

Over 10,000 signatures were added to the petition so the Government has to respond.


Download the petition Response HERE

Problems & Problems Solved


Hampshire County Council and New Forest District Council have selected several well-used paths in our area for improvement using funds specifically made available for Rights of Way.  Work on the paths in Ringwood to the east of Hightown Lake and on the Avon Valley Path from Hurst Road to Snails Lane is nearly completed.  Kelvin's photos before the work and after are published on The Paths page