Unfortunately I got scratched legs in vain. Exmoor National Park ranger Richard Eales has pointed out that the overgrown path I struggled along near Coombe Farm north of Exford, on 30 September last year, is not on the definitive map of public paths.
The actual footpath runs along the northern edge of this double-sided track.
There were a number of diversions in this area in June 1998 but even before that the path was not shown on the map.
However, the route has the feel of a public highway, as a ‘white road’ leading to Coombe Lane. I identified it early one morning looking across from Room Hill (see photo) and it has all the characteristics of a public highway. So perhaps we should claim it for the definitive map.
Thank you to Richard for pointing out my error.