[Talk-GB] Forest trail tagging query

Nick Whitelegg nick at hogweed.org
Tue Aug 28 13:05:09 BST 2007

Hello Andy,

> Hi,
> I've been out in the Forest of Bere[1] grabbing GPS traces of the paths
> running through the forest but I'm not 100% sure of the best way to tag
> them on OSM. The paths themselves run can vary between maintained paths
> which are wide enough to drive a vehicle down (but are not permitted) to
> simple unmaintained tracks between the trees. A list of access
> permissions can be found on this website[2] and there is also an
> official ROW (a footpath) on some of the paths.
> I've tagged them as permissive bridleways and used foot=yes to denote
> the paths that the footpath uses but I'm left with a couple of
> unresolved issues:
>       * Horse riding is for permit holders only but my current tagging
>         scheme does not make this clear.
>       * Should the official ROW be tagged as highway=footway,
>         horse=permissive or highway=bridleway, foot=yes? Is there any
>         difference between the two?
> If you were tagging this what would you do?

As it happens I've come across several similar instances in the last few days. 
On Saturday at Hindhead, Surrey I came across a public footpath with 
permissive horse rights. My decision on tagging was:

highway=bridleway; foot=yes; horse=permissive

I used highway=bridleway because it basically "is" a bridleway, albeit a 
permissive one.

Yesterday I was in the Woolmer Forest between Liphook and Liss in Hampshire, 
which is an area of army-owned access land. There are a number of paths 
there, access is a bit unclear so I assumed they were all foot only.
They were all

highway=footway; foot=permissive

but the gravel tracks I also added "surface=gravel". If it had been the New 
Forest I would have put "newforest:pathtype=gravel", but it wasn't, so I 
didn't :-) We really need to sort out the whole 
access-rights-versus-physical-description thing :-)


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