A town council which is hoping to keep a route open for people walking is asking residents for evidence they have used the route.
People using the route onto Woodburn Drive in Leyburn from Thornborough Wood have been told the road is private and they should not be using it.
But the town council believes the route has been used for many years before the houses on Woodburn Drive were built.
The council has highlighted an old Victorian map which shows a path running through the wood and the site where the houses now stand.
Officials think planners just failed to reroute the path when the homes were built.
The town council is asking for anyone who has used the route to come forward in a bid to formalise it.
They said in a statement: “In recent months some pedestrians using this route have been informed that they should not be using it as Woodburn Drive is a private road.
“Woodburn Drive is indeed a private road, however private roads can still have pedestrian rights of way over them.
“There is currently no formal right of way in place, but a Historical Right of Way exists as this route has been used for more than 20 years without let or hindrance.
“Prior to any houses being built there was in fact an original track which can be seen on maps going back to the mid-1800s.
“This track/path ran up the front of all the southern gardens of Woodburn Drive and linked directly into Thornborough Hall Wood until the mid-1960s.
“Then as the rest of the houses were constructed it was deemed not appropriate to have a footpath running through all the front gardens of the southern properties, so at this point the link at the top of the drive was made and the steps into the wood constructed and pedestrians have used this since then.
“Leyburn Town Council are proposing to formalise this route and have it placed on the NYCC Definitive Map, thereby ensuring pedestrians can continue to use this route in the future.
“In order to do this we need to provide evidence from local people that they have used this route, detailing how long they have used it and the reasons they have used it, this evidence will then be sent to NYCC along with any counter evidence for a decision to be made as to whether it should be placed on the Definitive Map.”
The council said it would like to hear from anyone who could provide evidence to help support this case to keep the path open.
Please contact the town council on email@example.com or on 01969 622561 for more information and to request a form to provide an evidence statement.