A popular walking route near Durlsey could be added to Gloucestershire’s network of protected public footpaths next week.

Gloucestershire County Council will consider plans to add the footpath at Breakheart Hill, North Nibley, to the definitive map of public rights of way on Monday.

The path is part of the three-mile Breakheart Trail which was set up in 2016 and the Dursley Dozen Run set up by the Dursley Running Club in 1989.

A total of 29 people have submitted evidence supporting the use of the claimed route which forms part of the Lantern Way, a 14-mile circular path which was launched by Dursley Welcomes Walkers in 2015.

It also featured in 12 Favourite Walks in the South of Gloucestershire, a booklet published by the Ramblers Association in 1995.

However, landowner Julian Moss says there is insufficient evidence to support a public path order or a definitive map modification order.

He says the Foot & Mouth outbreak in 2001/02 prevented a continuous retrospective use over 20 years from 2019.

Mr Moss also says permission was granted to the Dursley Welcomes Walkers Group for the path to be included in the Lantern Way and the Breakheart Trail walks and also to the Dursley Running Group for their annual run which would rebut the statutory test.

However, council officers reject these arguments and say there is sufficient evidence and recommend that an order be made to add the footpath to the definitive map.

The council report reads: “This report has made a case for a claim of statutory presumed dedication over the period of 1999–2019 but has also considered a claim of inferred dedication at common law citing use dating back to the late 1950s.

“There is conflicting evidence between the current landowner and the users with regard to use being ‘interrupted’ and ‘by permission’.

“However, this report rejects the arguments and submits that the user evidence is sufficient to show that the claimed path A-B-C is reasonably alleged to subsist as a public footpath and therefore this section of path must now be protected by being recognised on the definitive map as a public footpath.”

The commons and rights of way committee will consider the proposals at a meeting on June 7.