Tuesday Long Walk – A secret worth sharing

April 18, 2014 by
Walton on the Wolds

Walton on the Wolds

The Tuesday long walk is not well advertised which might explain the low turnout of just six for this fine walk in wonderful April sunshine. We met at Walton on the Wolds a back of beyond or politely, off the beaten track, village. The green presents the perfect location, grass, cottages, the pub and a village sign showing a flying man.

Map of the walk

Map of the walk

Download a gpx file of this walk – click here

I’d attempted in the past to discover the origin of this but today Google had an answer. Montague Bertie Bird vicar of Walton was an early user of photography and he had a  devilish wicked streak. As his hobby developed Monty, as he was known, turned a room at the rectory into a dark room, taking hours to piece together each of his incredible fictitious images long before such trickery became easier with digital photography.

Stanford Hall

Stanford Hall

We set off with one extra, Dave of Dalby had been passing on his way for a short walk so he joined us for the first few fields. These were easy walking mostly along headlands as we headed across to Coates before taking a bridleway on the ridge above Kings Brook. The views north to Stanford Hall across the valley were excellent in the sunshine but marked with some sadness as we could also see Underhill Farm site of the tragic fatal incident with a bull in 2012.

Crossing the Nottingham to Loughborough road at Kings Bridge we passed briefly into Nottinghamshire to follow the stream to arrive at our lunch stop in Wymeswold and the The Three Crowns a good choice by our leader of the day Di.

Wymeswold Three Crowns

Wymeswold Three Crowns

The bulk of the eleven miles had been done so it was a shorter afternoon although there were some cross field paths to contend with one of oil seed with only a very narrow wheeling to pass through. No sign of Leicestershire’s largest, to date, 130,000 solar panel array located on the old Wymeswold airfield but it should have been pumping out the full 30 megawatts today.

Where's the footpath?

Where’s the footpath?

First Summer Tuesday Walk, From Ratby

April 17, 2014 by
Perfect Early Summer Day April 15th

Perfect Early Summer Day April 15th

With Spring In Their Step

With Spring In Their Step

Keep away from my duck house

Keep away from my duck house

Spring Carpet

Spring Carpet

A walk from the Wharf Inn at Welford July 2013.

April 15, 2014 by
A walk from the Wharf Inn at Welford on the 24th July 2013.

A walk from the Wharf Inn at Welford on the 24th July 2013.

A walk from the Wharf Inn at Welford on the 24th July 2013.

A walk from the Wharf Inn at Welford on the 24th July 2013.

A walk from the Wharf Inn at Welford on the 24th July 2013.

A walk from the Wharf Inn at Welford on the 24th July 2013.

 

 

Bull shown to be dangerous

April 13, 2014 by

The trial continues at Nottingham Crown Court of farmer Paul Waterfall who denies a charge of manslaughter by gross misconduct, causing the death of Roger Freeman who was attacked by a bull while on a public footpath at Underhill Farm Stanford on Soar.

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Robert Smith and colleague Christopher Robinson, of Central Networks, had attempted to carry out emergency electrical repairs but were chased off by the bull.

Mr Smith told the court how the drama began that night when they had heard a loud bellowing sound as they went to the pole in the field. He saw a brown bull with big horns standing up 30 to 40 metres away “It wasn’t happy, to say the least,” Mr Smith told the court. “It soon made tracks toward us… pretty much instantly. It was sort of galloping down the field.”

Mr Smith shone his torch to dazzle the bull, while Mr Robinson assembled rods that they were to use on the job, to hold out in front. The bull butted the rods and pushed Mr Robinson into the hedge backwards, leaving just the rods poking out.

Jurors listened to a call from Mr Smith to his control room to report their predicament and loud animal noises could be heard in the background. Waterfall was contacted by the control centre and arrived with the tractor. The men dived into the bucket on the front and were driven out of the field.

After rescuing the two engineers Paul Waterfall said that the animal “kept ramblers on their toes”.

Read more on the Nottingham Post site. (opens a new page)

Walking the Ridgeway 2014

April 10, 2014 by

28-Thames-GoringThe Ridgeway National Trail starts at Overton Hill near Avebury and ends at Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire near Dunstable 87 miles.

The southern half of the route justifies the name as it follows chalk ridges and offers some far reaching views over large fields, mostly along tracks.

The northern section follows the ancient lower tracks and often shares with the Icknield Way but finally climbs in the Chiltern’s Ashridge Estate to the grand finale at Ivinghoe Beacon (233M).

Read more about the walk here…..

GPS Dummy or Geek? Gathering

April 10, 2014 by

garminA gathering to broaden our knowledge and skill has been arranged for Thursday 24th April 10am at Melton Mowbray. Sorry LFA members only.

Contact Ken if you would like to attend:- Email leicestershire.footpaths@gmail.com

Fatal bull attack was ‘avoidable’, court hears

April 9, 2014 by

THE bull that trampled a walker to death at Underhill Farm, Stanford on Soar, had attacked electricity workers just weeks before and “should have been culled”, a court heard.

Read more on the Nottingham Post site. (opens a new page)

The incident occurred in November 2010, Mr John Freeman was trampled to death and his wife suffered serious injuries when they were attacked by a 19 month old Swiss bull while crossing a field on a public footpath.

What the Health and safety Executive say:

  • Friesian, Holstein, Dairy Shorthorn, Guernsey, Jersey and Kerry) are in all circumstances banned from being at large in fields crossed by public rights of way. Do not keep them in fields with public rights of way, statutory or other types of permitted access.
  • If you are considering putting a bull of any other breed in a field to which the public have access you should carefully consider the animal’s temperament and behaviour and monitor its demeanour and state of health on a frequent basis. If there is any indication that the bull is likely to be aggressive or unpredictable, or if or if its behaviour gives you cause for concern, it should not be kept in a field to which the public have the right of access.
  • Beef bulls are banned from fields or enclosures with footpaths unless accompanied by cows or heifers. This does not include open fells or unenclosed moorland. There are no specific prohibitions on other cattle.

For more information see  HSE  (opens a new page)

Wonderful (Walking) Land

April 3, 2014 by

northumberland

“Wonderful Land”, so an advert read in a recent copy of Metro, “England’s very best short breaks” (see VisitEngland.com) The three page spread featured Rutland so I started to read. “Rutland Water, the largest man-made lake in Europe. Set in 4,000 acres of land it’s a haven for walkers and wild-life watchers.” “Despite Rutland’s size, there’s a long distance footpath entirely within its boundaries. The Rutland Round is a circular route of 65 miles in delightful scenery.” Staffordshire offers, a corner of the Peak District, the Roaches and Cannock Chase, “where miles of footpaths and cycle trails criss-cross the rolling hills and purple heather.” Even East Lincolnshire, not my favourite walking county “now hosts the annual Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival which welcomes more than 2,000 walkers”. Although North York Moors and the Howardian Hills extolls the virtues of the countryside they don’t mention walking but there is a hint that it’s best to get out of the car. Moving north, Hadrian’s Wall is best explored using “The Hadrian Wall Path National Trail … offering to see the wall at close quarters.” While Northumberland offers miles of lakeside and forest trails, for an enchanting walk and a picture of a walker in the hills.

No mention of Leicestershire in this Visit England promotion but as we well know our county has much to offer the visitor or local in the varied countryside on our doorstep. We just have to hope that councillors value the income from visitors and continue to support spending on the path network so that we can all enjoy it.

 

Summer walks programme starts soon

March 26, 2014 by

The summer walks programme starts on Wednesday 9th April and should have already dropped through the letter boxes of our members. The now established Monday evening walks are again a feature and start on Monday 12th May and run consecutively for 14 weeks. Happy walking.

Tranquil pool on Tuesday walk near Willoughby Waterleys

Tranquil pool on Tuesday walk near Willoughby Waterleys

Newsletter Spring 2014

March 22, 2014 by

2014 AGM Report

Pressure was on this year to complete the formal business and allow time for a brief history of footpath protection in Leicestershire from 1840. Thanks to Steve H who offered his research and to Heather who edited it. Chris M was thanked for her Chairmanship of the last three years and vacated the chair half way through the meeting. Neil B was elected unopposed to complete the chores of the day. Thanks were also given to Clive F and David S who have stood down. There were no contentious issues to debate so we moved on with Neil’s elaborate introductions of the performers in the style of Leonard Sachs the alliterative Chairman of the Good Old Days.

Mr A.J. Gimson LFA Secretary 1887-1911

Mr A.J. Gimson LFA Secretary 1887-1911

The performance was respectfully received and in the absence of a standing ovation or calls for an encore we were ready and eager for lunch a little earlier than anticipated. Peter B liked the cheers best!! and said we should have booked the Curve as our performance was better than the ones he’d seen there! Copies of the Well Trodden Path were offered free to those present to read about the LFA post 1887.

After the excellent lunch Neil thanked the team who have done us sterling service for many years but have said this will be the last. Although this has been said before, we will be looking for new caterers in 2015 so please let a committee member know if you have a contact.

Two walks were on offer, 6 miles with one stile and some mud, or 2-3 miles, no stiles – then a correction when this walk was initially claimed to be mud free. The Annual General Meeting is an essential but dull part of Association business, the attendance again suggests we succeeded in making it an enjoyable event. Thanks to members for attending.

King Richard lll slain at Bosworth

King Richard lll slain at Bosworth

He Go : He come Back – A walk on Friday 22nd August 2014 6pm.

Come follow the linear route King Richard III took when leaving the city from Bow Bridge; the lost Roman Road across Western Park to Ratby Lane. See a yellow posted / green finger-pointed footpath of 600 metres missed off the O/S map! 80% surfaced; 20% grasslands. Distance: 4.5 miles.    Possible use of First 12 bus service to return.

Meet: Bow Bridge, St Augustine / King Richards Road. (A-Z map, 27, H926; OS grid SK 58018 04363)

Ramblers Worldwide Holidays

Leicestershire Footpath Association has recently joined The Walking Partnership. Supported by Ramblers Worldwide Holidays it can provide direct financial contributions to local walking groups such as LFA.The Walking Partnership

If you book a holiday with Ramblers Worldwide Holidays remember to quote the name of our group, we will then receive a contribution of £10 per person on UK holidays, £20 per person on short haul holidays, and £30 per person on long haul holidays.

Bucket collection raises £300 for LOROS

The Wednesday walks on 18th December 2013 were a combined effort between the 5 and 7 milers and 55 turned up. We all lunched  together at Brascote Lodge courtesy of Anne C with a wide variety of foods provided by several members. There was a bucket collection which generated £300 for LOROS.

LOROS Twilight Walk

Saturday 26th April LOROS needs your help for various support roles between 4pm and 10pm. If you can help please contact:- debbiedickman@loros.co.uk or telephone 0116 231 8484.

Postage costs

Can any member help? The cost of posting out programmes and AGM notices is now over £500 each year. A second class stamp costs 50pence but a second class franked item costs only 33pence. Can you offer a suggestion on cutting our postage costs?

2014 National Forest Walking Festival

This takes place between 17th and 29th May 2014. “Last year’s festival was a huge success, with overall numbers up to almost 1460 walkers” so says:

http://www.thenationalforestwalkingfestival.org.uk/

You can register to receive the 2014 programme and follow the planning on Facebook and Twitter. The 2014 festival aims to offer something for everyone, whatever their age, interests or abilities. An opportunity to introduce sedentary friends and family to walking?

GPS Geeks or thinking of becoming one?

Are you interested in a gathering to broaden your knowledge and skill? Contact Ken:-     Email  leicestershire.footpaths@gmail.com

Updates

In the autumn newsletter we reported two railway crossing issues. Sadly there appears to be no progress at either Shackerstone Station which takes the Leicestershire Round on a bridge over the station or at Barrow upon Soar where a bridleway crosses six lines.

Mapping on the web. In addition to the sites suggested last time you might like to look at http://www.bing.com/maps click on the road drop down then choose OS when the map appears at 1:50,000 keep zooming in and it changes to 1:25,000.

Thorpe Satchville and Leire call for user evidence

LFA has always claimed to only walk on recognised paths and today that means those shown on the Definitive Map and depicted in either red or green on Ordnance Survey maps. It’s all too easy on the ground to follow a well walked path which we may not realise is not actually recorded as public. We were surprised to discover that two short sections of our very own Leicestershire Round are not recorded as public paths and hence have the potential to be lost. Although there is currently no threat to either path we do need to take steps to have the paths added to the Definitive Map for their protection and the integrity of the Leicestershire Round route. The path through Thorpe Satchville churchyard and along Station Lane at Leire need adding to the Definitive Map, we need to gather evidence that the paths have been used from the time the Round was created and launched. If you can offer evidence of use please contact Brian Jenkinson NOW – thank you.

Walking Weekend August 15th – 17th 2014Chester House Hotel

At Chester House, Bourton on the Water, cost: approx. £65 – £69 per night per person Bed and Breakfast. Evening meal may be obtained from either of their 2 associated restaurants at additional cost. If you want to check for any late places contact Cindy W Tel  0116 2234851 or mobile 07711729830.

Dog Bite

During a recent Ashby U3A walk on bridleway S25 between Cadeby and Brascote at Naneby Hall Farm near the quarry entrance a lady was bitten in the calf by a dog that wouldn’t heed its owners’ calls to come away from a group of walkers. The incident was reported to the police.

Walk from Kirby Muxloe Saturday, 1st February 2014  – 10 miles

Despite this January’s unprecedented rainfall level, a group of 11 walkers left Kirby Muxloe in bright sunshine.  Keeping to its 16th Century name of Kirby ‘Muckleby’ (the village of the mud) ground conditions required a late change of route, in order to reach Ratby village.

From Ratby the path led over the fields into Whirlybones Wood, a willow plantation which is on the edge of the National Forest. Reaching a ford, we entered Ratby Burroughs, picking our path carefully.mud

Climbing up towards Old Hay Farm the group diverted again to avoid ‘swimming’ in places and eventually crossed Forest Hill Golf Course to reach Markfield Lane  and then on to Botcheston.

Leaving Botcheston we passed swathes of snowdrops a welcome sign of the Spring to come.

Further down the path we slipped, waded, ‘walked on water’, crossed the railway line and accompanied by a flock of sheep reached the outskirts of Desford. A very welcome lunch break was taken in the parish churchyard of St. Martin, Desford.

After lunch the weather deteriorated and the wind strengthened as the walkers headed from Desford, across more fields in varying depths of mud and water to Pendlewood Farm, before reaching Leicester Lane.  The final stretch took us to Elms Farm and then thankfully onto dry stone paths and tarmac roadway as we reached the outskirts of Kirby Muxloe. Fortunately the rain held off and this challenging but enjoyable walk was completed as it had started, in bright sunshine.

The leader, Colin Beardmore (undertaking his initial walk as Leader for LFA) remarked that ‘perhaps for today, the letters LFA, should be interpreted to mean Leicestershire Fellow Amphibians !’


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