Close encounter

September 30, 2015 by

Having walked around the Leicestershire border in 2014 I was looking for a new challenge walk for 2015 so again looked close to home. Lincolnshire was an option, immediately dismissed as flat and walker unfriendly. Nottinghamshire looked promising until exploring the north of the county and that distinctive point, a no go area cut off from the rest of the county by the River Idle. Derbyshire was suggested by a comment on the blog and was helped by the High Sherriff having circumnavigated his county in 2014.

Longhorse Bridge over the River Trent the boundary between Leicestershire and Derbyshire

Longhorse Bridge over the River Trent the boundary between Leicestershire and Derbyshire (See section 6)

Netherseal southern point of the county and resting place of Sir Nigel Gresley

Netherseal southern point of the county and resting place of Sir Nigel Gresley (see section 8)

So that was it, 220 miles around the border of Derbyshire. I’m reluctant to say that it was far more varied and interesting than Leicestershire. Very urban along the east side with lots of old industry. The south was obviously much like the Leicestershire walk as it shared the boundary although I found different paths to follow. Rounding the foot of the county my route soon followed the river Dove which inevitably leads to that honeypot destination Dovedale.

Having entered the Peak District there is little comparison with our home county and the walk got better and better. I invite you to follow my footsteps here.

Newsletter Autumn 2015

September 25, 2015 by
New path at Brooksby

New path at Brooksby

In last autumn’s newsletter Neil explained the plans of Network Rail to reduce the number of level crossing. This remains an issue and we understand that Network Rail has unilaterally closed a footpath A117 at Little Bowden at SP742866 after LCC refused their requests for a temporary closure. Better news at Brooksby where H56 has been
diverted to take walkers over the light controlled road crossing just a few metres away. The new path is of a high standard, see picture right.

From our Chairman – Neil B
First just a brief reminder that we are halfway through the walking year and are still looking for volunteers for the roles of Secretary and a Diversions Secretary. Where are you?
We welcome and thank a new volunteer as Minutes Secretary – Jackie B. We must thank Jennifer Macg for the many years she admirably filled that role.
Am I a cynic or has Global Warming and Climate Change passed us by in Leicestershire? We had a very good April weather-wise but the media hyped 3 months of hot summer weather didn’t materialise. It turned out much
as usual – mixed. It was quite dry so it was good for we walkers.
I got my first muddy boots on September 1st. On the Tuesday walks Martin and Lynn are hoping they will soon be able to pass on the Mud Trophy as they have held it since 25th November 2014.
To new and old members, enjoy your winter walks and the camaraderie of the L.F.A.

Good news at Ratcliffe College
The Leicestershire Round at Ratcliffe College has been a bit messy for some years so we are delighted that the issues have been resolved and our warden has been able to waymark the route making clear where the path now leaves the track and heads off across the sports field towards the A46 Fosse Way.

Footpaths at Elmesthorpe
elmesthorpeAt the last committee meeting it was good to hear Roger C propose action on path U50 at Elmesthorpe south of Earl Shilton. A report from LCC offers a summary:-
Currently no route is available on the ground for the public to follow as this path has a long story of obstruction.
During the mid 1930s the Land Settlement Association purchased a large area of land and developed plots on it for “Homes fit For Heroes” (veterans of the First World War).
At this time they blocked off the footpath with various boundaries and the paths fell out of use. However it was realised that this was not acceptable and so in 1936 the Land Settlement Association applied for a diversion order to have
the footpath re-routed to avoid the obstructions. Unfortunately this order was never completed and the right of way
never formally diverted or even an alternative route provided. Then the Second World War came along and matters were forgotten about until 1950/51 when under national legislation Parish Councils were asked to survey the footpaths in their areas and submit plans and statements to the County Council for inclusion in the first Definitive Map.
Faced with a mess on the ground the Parish Council had no alternative other than to claim the pre First World War paths even though they were no longer available. The Parish Council made reference to the proposed diversion of 1936 in its submission but because the order had not been made or completed (Indeed now no trace of the draft order can be found) the County Council could not take any account of it when drawing up the Definitive Map.
From the 1950s to around 2000, members of the public made their best way through the area but never on the definitive line because it wasn’t available. In 2000 the County Council received complaints about the state of the path and since then it has been trying to come up with a solution. Enforcement action though an option, seems impractical given the fact that the footpath has been unavailable now since the 1930s and sadly even more physical obstacles have developed over the intervening years including lakes.

The difficulty the County Council has had is that whatever solution has been proposed one faction or other of the local community and landowners has vehemently objected and we are now looking at our 5th proposal (8th Plan) since 2000. I’m still plugging away at this case in the  background but I regret there is going to be no quick solution. I’m sorry to report this is the current situation. The County Council takes seriously its duty to assert and protect the publics’ right to the use and enjoyment of public rights of way but this case has sadly proved to be one of the most obstinate ones to resolve.
(Ed’s note) There is a route through the area that people on occasion still use. Take Bridleway U52 (Bridle Path Road) for around 350 metres then turn left into Billington Road East (not a public right of way). From this track we have, in the past, been able to access a version of the southern section of the path. Talk to Roger to help push the matter forward.

Walk Leaders please note.
If you are leading a walk for LFA you should be aware of our ‘Check List  and Information for Leaders’ it’s on the website, please download a copy  and read it.  Many of our walks have large numbers where the leader will lose sight of
the rear so it is essential that a back marker be appointed. Preferably  someone who knows the route but if not the leader should appoint  someone on the day. It might also be helpful for leader and back-marker
to exchange mobile numbers in case of an incident occurring.

LFA Needs YOU to Volunteer
It’s the job of a newsletter to be positive about the organisation it  represents but at times the editor finds this a challenge. Looking back at  the Spring edition I’m reminded of the requests for members to lend a  hand with little walking related tasks. While the usual stalwarts have  offered to help if they can fit more hours into their already overloaded  diary, we still have some jobs that need YOU to volunteer:-
● General Secretary
● Diversions Secretary
● Committee members
Unless a new secretary can be found and new committee members, the  future of the Association will be placed in jeopardy.

Leicestershire Round
We have become aware of short sections of the Round that are not on the  Definitive Map. This has the potential for these short paths to be  reclaimed back into private hands and walkers barred from using the path.  We ask you please to contact the secretary if you have walked the whole  route of the Round at any time and in particular sections at Thorpe  Langton, Thorpe Satchville and Leire.

Lost Ways
You should now be aware that as part of the extra access we were  granted under the Right to Roam legislation landowners were promised  an end date after which historical evidence could not be used to claim a  path across their land. This has created a huge task, much larger than  anyone expected, to trawl through old records searching for paths that  were missed off the original drawing up of the Definitive Map back in the  early 1950s. Leicestershire has potentially 1,500 or more unrecorded paths which will be lost after the cut off date of 2026. If you have an  interest in walking footpaths but perhaps can no longer get out in the  fields and would like to spend time in a warm dry office, then we need  YOU to volunteer to spend a few hours in the Records Office at Wigston.

Newsletter compiled for LFA by Ken B
Visit our website at:-

Winter Walks Programme

September 22, 2015 by
Waiting in the shadows

Waiting in the shadows

Your card copy of the winter walks programme will be dropping through letter boxes very soon but you can preview the walks on the website NOW at LFA Walks Programme page. Can we also remind leaders that you should have read a copy of our “Check List and Information for Leaders 2013” which is available on this page. Leaders also please report any changes to your walk so that the website details can be amended, please email or report to your walk organiser.

Thank you and happy walking to all.

National mills heritage day

September 17, 2015 by

On Sunday 15th September, I took advantage of viewing and climbing the Ullesthorpe Subscription windmill dating from 1800. This visit was prompted following a recent Thursday walk when walkers passed by the mill.

Ullesthorpe MillThis photograph was taken from the Chequers Inn car park. This tower mill is an impressive example of milling technology before the general use of cast iron.  The tower is made of brick and the main parts are of wooden machinery.

I learned the Kibworth Harcourt mill was also open and I drove to it via Gilmorton, Peatling Magna, Bruntingthorpe, and Saddington.  This can be described as a post mill and was  built in the 18th century.  Features seen were spring and common sails, tailpole, head and tail millstones, two hoists and a flour dresser.

Kibworth Post MillThese old mills were built to last and this made me wonder whether newly erected wind turbines would still be with us in two hundred years time!

Brian Jenkinson, (Hon Sec. Leicestershire Footpath Association)




Thursday 24th change of venue

September 16, 2015 by

I hope you are all well. I am sorry but I am having to make a change to the walk I am leading later this month

Thursday Walk 24th September 2015

This walk will now start at THE GREYHOUND, 25 Melton Road, BURTON-ON-THE-WOLDS LE12 5AG

Unfortunately the pub at Walton-on-the-Wolds is having to have some building work done on the kitchen and they will not be able to cater for us. Please try to let everyone you know about this change of venue.

Kind regards
Jim G

Journey’s End

September 13, 2015 by
Seat on Leicestershire Round at Gumley

Seat on Leicestershire Round at Gumley

So many years, so many miles of footpath walking Jim Mason had walked the paths of Leicestershire ‘man and boy’ and became a key member of the LFA committee, as our Rambles secretary. With his knowledge of paths, we reckoned he knew every path in Leicestershire. He could remember the names of every landowner and farmer he had contact with when doing his work for the County Council in preserving and improving stiles, footbridges and painting and erecting those yellow topped way mark posts which point out the route on the Leicestershire Round.

He was a good companion on many a long mile in this and neighbouring counties. He was tireless, observant and appreciative of all the countryside we passed though and was knowledgeable and fun to be with.

He never missed a chance to do helpful practical tasks for anyone and was loved by all those who came into contact with him. Jim died at Harley House Nursing Home on Saturday 12th September 2015.

September 1st Tuesday Walkers Reflect

September 7, 2015 by
Rolleston Reflections

               Rolleston Reflections

It rained endlessly on the Monday but as often happens the Tuesday walkers enjoyed a good morning and paused by the picturesque lake at Rolleston on the way to Goadby then back to Tugby.  The ‘short’ walkers also enjoyed a stroll to the lake  and back.  My piece of string said the main route was 6 miles. One walker’s G.P.S. said 6.2 miles and another said 5.98 miles. long live string.  It was a hilly route so I wonder if one of them accounted for ups and downs and one didn’t? -Does anyone know?

Ramblers chair

September 4, 2015 by

After a good walk we usually need to sit down, relax, even take a snooze so here is the perfect chair for the weary walker to settle in.

Jane Revitt's Map Chair

Jane Revitt’s Map Chair

Thursday 17th September

September 1, 2015 by

The walk on Thursday 17th September will start at The Countryman in Sharnford.

Brooksby footpath diversion

August 31, 2015 by

On Saturday 29th August I was walking in the Brooksby area so decided to take a look at the diverstion of footpath H56 which had been proposed by Network Rail to remove a level crossing of the Wreake Valley line between Melton Mowbray and Leicester.


Leicestershire Footpath Association had not objected to the proposal which took the path over a road level crossing which is controlled by lights and barriers. We did make comment as to the condition of the new path and I’m delighted to report that the new path is excellent.

Looking along the new path towards the road

Looking along the new path towards the road

The old crossing had been used by a group of our walkers some time back so we have a picture of the old route which made an oblique crossing the line adding to the time walkers were at potential risk.

A railway level footpath crossing soon to vanish if Network Rail have their way

A railway level footpath crossing soon to vanish if Network Rail have their way


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