- Join IPROW
- About IPROW
- Why Join IPROW?
- FAQ about IPROW
- A Sample of Member Benefits
- Waymark — the journal
- Advertise with IPROW
- Why employ an IPROW member?
- Training and Development
- Good Practice Guide
- Useful Links
- Contact IPROW
- Find a Consultant
Who runs IPROW?
IPROW is run by a Board of Directors (it is a limited company) who are not paid for the duty.
The directors are predominantly employees of local authorities as rights of way officers at varying levels of responsibility who take on what IPROW tasks they are able to accommodate at the same time as doing very demanding 'day' jobs.
Most of the daily work is done by three part-time members of staff who cover enquiries, applications for membership, book-keeping, administration, job adverts, the website, marketing, training courses and provision of other benefits for members. Waymark is produced by a contractor.
Any member can become a director of IPROW — the only criteria are willingness and the time to act as, without the activity, IPROW would not survive.
Jayne Benson, Strategic Routes Officer, Bradford Council
I've been working in Rights of Way for about 15 years, currently employed by Bradford Council as 'Strategic Routes Officer' which means my work covers new routes, ROWIP implementation and other district wide or strategic issues. It's interesting and varied and I enjoy my job. Recently I have also started doing an NVQ 3 in Project Management, which, as I work part time means I'm really busy when I'm actually in the office!
My voluntary work for IPROW fits around my day job, my studies and my family responsibilities. I have a little girl, a very smelly dog, 2 teenage stepchildren and a partner who escapes to go rock climbing whenever the opportunity arises.
I had been a Board Director a few years ago and stepped down during my maternity leave, but missed feeling involved with the work we had been doing. Being part of IPROW need not take up too much time, but the work we do is necessary to keep the profile of Rights of Way registering with policy makers and to value and protect the work our members do. IPROW is not a big organisation, we do not have extensive back office support and keeping going and moving forward depends on volunteer efforts and growing our membership.
For IPROW this year I have helped to facilitate responses from members to feed into consultations from Natural England, DEFRA etc, and along with Marilyn Meeks have recently offered to be involved with the Coastal Access Implementation Group. I have also worked with the IPROW staff to update their job descriptions and contracts.
Richard Cuthbert, Team Leader Access & Rights of Way, Hertfordshire County Council
I am currently managing the RoW Service in Herts (which involves two teams; seven access officers including one enforcement officer and a team leader; and seven definitive map officers and a team leader, plus a technical officer). That keeps me busy, along with responding and inputting to national legislation consultations, internal plans, strategies and programme development and trying to take a strategic view of where the service is and where we should be going.
I joined IPROW after hearing both positive and negative comments about it (elbow patches on tweed were referred to!), so I attended my first conference as a non-member just to see and learnt so much in two days, plus had a great time and probably drank too much, that I've not looked back. I subsequently 'volunteered' to be a director as I thought I could help, after getting involved with the GPG. Finding time is my biggest problem and, while my boss allows a certain amount of input during work hours, I have to show a benefit to Herts from my time – learning is the easiest way to demonstrate this and the breadth of experience across the board of directors means there is usually someone with some experience to offer.
Fiona Plane, Rights of Way Officer City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council
I have been a Rights of Way Officer at City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council since 1996 covering a variety of work from investigating DMMOs to commenting on planning applications and dealing with obstructions. I joined IPROW's Membership Group when it was set up in 2004 and have been an IPROW Director since 2007.
The IPROW work is very demanding and although my employer is good about giving me time for it, I do a lot in my own time as well, but I do enjoy it. A large part of the work is assessing membership applications, especially submissions for full membership, and recently our first Fellow, which took an astonishing amount of time but for a very satisfying result. The other big element is always looking for ways to increase membership and encourage more people to join. I am delighted that the current membership figure is its highest ever, and still rising.
Ruth Rourke, Principal Countryside Access Officer, Monmouthshire County Council
I have worked in Rights of Way since 1989 and obviously enjoy stress as I am still here! Having previously worked in England, I now work in Wales for Monmouthshire County Council, as the Principal Countryside Access Officer. This means I am responsible, full time, for the Countryside Access Team.
As an IPROW Director I represent the organisation as much as possible. I attend the National Access Forum meetings four times a year and was recently asked to be the Deputy Chairman, which means our name is becoming more widely known in Wales. The last meeting was in Bangor and involved a four hour drive there, a five hour meeting and another four hour drive home. Then there is all the paper work to read, minutes to check, comments to make and often I have to collate member's views or research a topic before I attend the meetings. And that's on top of the usual demands of my Monmouthshire job!
Will Steel, Public Rights of Way Manager, Amey Herefordshire
After several years involvement with BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers), my first PROW job was as Parish Paths Liaison Officer for Derbyshire County Council in 1994. I moved south to Milton Keynes Council as a PROW Officer which was a great chance to do a bit of everything then became Team Leader for Bath & North East Somerset Council's PROW service. Finally, in this clockwise trip round the country, I took on the role of PROW Manager for Amey, a public service provider, delivering a full PROW management service on behalf of Herefordshire Council.
I joined IPROW whilst in Derbyshire and became active in its running as a volunteer in the Communications Working Group which produced Waymark at that time. I became a director of IPROW in 2008 when my arm could stand no more twisting!