Walking Treasure Hunt Sunday 17th June

June 3, 2018 by

Sorry this event has been cancelled.




Saturday – Three churches walk

June 2, 2018 by

15 walkers met at Stoke Albany for today’s walk from this village in Northamptonshire, which is just off the A427 road from Market Harborough to Corby.  Grey skies overhead, some breeze with promise of humid conditions later in the day.  The walk started from the church and minor paths to the West of the village were safely negotiated before  joining the Jurassic Way which would take us over some wonderful rolling countryside to Brampton Ash church.

One member came to the rescue of a lamb which had caught its neck in some wire, attracted by grass growing on the other side of the fence.  Below Brampton Ash church spire viewed from a hill above Stoke wood.

The walk continued on the Midshires Way through undulating countryside before reaching the village of Ashley where a well deserved sandwich lunch was taken.  Just another two miles back to the start of the walk at Stoke Albany.  The leader was thanked for a memorable walk.

Ashley Church

Tuesday short walk from Asfordby

May 22, 2018 by

Crown Inn, Asfordby

Members met at the above inn before commencing on their weekly walk.  The front of the building looks as though it might be a converted house. In fact this was an eighteenth century coaching inn.  We were made most welcome and at the end of the walk a two course meal for £7.50p was enjoyed.

The short walk of approximately three miles, commenced along Main Street towards Melton Mowbray.  A footpath was taken on the right hand side of the road to the village of Kirby Bellars.  The church of St. Peter dominates the local landscape.  It has an impressive tower and has an ashlar spire with low broaches, early 1300 hundreds.

This picture was taken from the bank of the River Wreake.  Washdyke Lane afforded us access to the village. Passing over the river we found evidence of the old canal created by the Melton Mowbray Navigation. Two locks were installed in the late 1790’s and the canal was closed in 1877.  The second lock is at Asfordby which we also saw.  A visit to the church was made. Ironstone tower, worn by the weather. A notice advised us of the theft of lead from the roof of the church.  Our walk continued through meadow land, carpeted by buttercups before crossing between the lakes on our way to Asfordby.  The site of the Old Asfordby mill was inspected before walking along Pump Lane and Main Street.

Golden oldies on the Tuesday walk from Huncote

May 15, 2018 by

The start of this walk was from the “Red Lion” at Huncote.  After a short walk along Croft Road, our group turned eastwards into the nature reserve lying beside the artificial hill.  This is just south of the Croft quarry and constructed by the quarry company.  In perfect conditions a small pond was skirted, before joining a board walk taking us towards the river Soar.  The quarry company have constructed two footbridges over the river which now provides a through route to Croft.

Our walk continued to the second footbridge and then in a southerly direction beside the Leicester to Birmingham railway line. A small break was taken for refreshment at the cricket ground before continuing into Croft village. Croft pastures is well worth a visit which is a nature area managed by the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust. The second picture illustrates a line of bushes of may blossom at its most striking..

The river Soar was once more crossed before entering “The Glebe”.  This is a woodland area managed by the Woodland Trust with many Horse Chestnut trees.  Passing the cemetery and crossing the Croft Road, the path in the wood adjoining the road took us back to Huncote.  Wild flowers and a variety of trees were seen with some large patches of pink Campion.  The last picture was taken along this path.

This walk of four miles took us 2hrs and 30 minutes.  Walkers took refreshment in the “Red Lion” and enjoyed memories of what had turned out to be a glorious day.

Bluebell walk at Launde Big Wood

May 9, 2018 by

On the 8th May, I visited Launde Big Wood to view the bluebells.  Blue sky, sunshine and a gentle breeze made ideal conditions to undertake this walk of approximately ninety minutes.

The wood is located to the west of the minor road between Loddington and Launde Abbey.  Park on the roadside at grid reference SK795034.  Follow the bridleway C73A which descends downhill on a farm track.  At the bottom of the hill continue straight on to the wood and enter by the handgate, adjacent to the information Board.

The Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust manage this ancient woodland.  There is a circular walk through and around the wood.  Follow the “ride” proceeding south to north and then at the top of the rise, turn left and follow the track

Trees are varieties of oak, ash and maple. Bluebells cover the woodland floor and other varieties of wild plants are the pale blue wood Forget-Me-Not and red campion.  If you have a couple of hours to spare in the next few days, why not visit the wood and after your walk, have lunch or tea at Launde Abbey.


Other Routes with Public Access

May 6, 2018 by

The above is from the Ordnance Survey legend.

Stile at SK 72464 18386 on the Asfordby parish boundary boosted confidence.

Stile at SK 72464 18386 on the Asfordby parish boundary boosted confidence.

On Saturday 28th April just after a lunch stop at Kirby Bellars church a party of seven LFA members set out along the old highway across the fields to Sysonby Grange and Sysonby. Having reached the south end of the dead end byway H32 from Asfordby Valley we had to find a way into the cropped field around SK 72139 18106 (“The gate at the Kirby end (with the new post in the middle of it) of course isn’t on the line.” LCC Officer). The party were apprehensive pushing through the crop of foot tall wheat across this large field but a stile at SK 72464 18386 on the Asfordby parish boundary boosted confidence.

The next field edge route is illegally ploughed regardless of this being road, bridleway or footpath but the narrow field margin did offer easier walking. Just before reaching SK 72795 18561 a significant flow of water crosses the route perhaps from a spring in the field.

From the corner of the wood the old field boundary is no longer in place so we set off again through the crop of wheat heading to the left of the piles of compost on the old Sysonby Grange Farm site. If the landowner does have a preferred route it is to the left of the site because a ‘Private Land No Public Right of Way’ sign is at the entrance SK 73242 18781. This again offered some assurance however, as the route agreed with LCC crosses the ‘Private Land’ it is also an illegal notice.

From here we followed a faint track to a ford where a sleeper bridge offered an alternative crossing of the swollen stream. By now we could see the familiar yellow topped post at SK 73475 18724 in the hedge which offered the party assurance that their leader had not led them astray.

The cleared route (“I’m not sure why this slipped but the clearance at the Sysonby end has now been done.  It’s just sufficient for walkers to get through as an interim measure.  This is on STWater’s land.” LCC Officer) was initially good having only very recently been carried out, but the steep bank was slippery and a challenge for some in the party. Another yellow topped post at SK 73525 18741 is helpful for walkers from the Sysonby end.

My thanks to LCC for the limited progress made which allowed us to walk the route but there is still much to do to promote the route initially for walking. We need more yellow topped posts. The route needs to be apparent on the ground, headland paths left uncultivated and cross field section marked out in line with HA sec.134. Access is required along the correct line at Kirby Bellars and more work is needed on the STW land at Sysonby.

The route shown by the green dots the red line is the route our party followed.

The route shown by the green dots the red line is the route our party followed. (Click on the picture for a larger image)

So why should this work be carried out? LCC has acknowledged that the red or green dots representing ‘Other Route with Public Access’ shown on the Ordnance Survey map is correct with the caveat that the status is unknown. However LCC has also acknowledged that as a minimum the route has a right for those on foot.

Without this highway the Byway from Asfordby Valley and footpath H31 are dead ends.

The route is clearly shown as a physical feature on old Ordnance Survey maps and using the fade feature on the National Library of Scotland site we can trace the route onto modern day Google satellite, see below.

The route is identified on the LCC list of street. Not an easy search but the results below show the complete route as “Publicly Maintained (Adopted)”.

The key states “Publicly Maintained (Adopted) – A publicly maintained highway not recorded on the Definitive Map of Public Rights of Way. These are maintained at a standard commensurate with use by Leicestershire County Council at public expense.”

LCC’s past failure in their duty to Protect and Assert the public right, section 130 of the Highway Act 1980, discourages use so reducing any need to maintain.

Click on the pictures for a larger image.

Left.. Approaching Sysonby Grange Farm site looking west from SK 73155 18759.

Right… Approaching the new yellow topped post at SK 73475 18724 which marks the cleared route through the STW land.


Temporary closure of the Nags Head public House, Stapleton

May 2, 2018 by

Members may recall being advised about a special deal at the above public house, encouraging walks to be started from the public house.  An enticement was offered for free coffee before the walk started.  How welcome that would have been.

A recent visit to the public house discovered due to a change of managers, lunches were not being served for a while.  Therefore if you are arranging a walk from the Nags Head in the near future, please be aware of the changed situation.

In difficult trading times, I am sure all walk leaders are aware of the necessity to check your chosen public house venue is still trading and food is available.


A gentle reminder

April 30, 2018 by

LFA subs are due for all members on 1st January that is unless you are a life member. If you have not yet paid your £5.00 or not sure if you have paid please see Lynne King or send her your cheque see contact details.

If you are reading this and are not a member of the Leicestershire Footpath Association we invite you to join us either to enjoy our weekly walks or support our campaign work to protect the wonderful Leicestershire footpath network.

Leicestershire at it's best - exploring on foot

Leicestershire at it’s best – exploring on foot

Take a Break

April 20, 2018 by

Two opportunities to get away.

The LFA October weekend in Buxton still has places available  see details here please contact David Hinds before end of April if you would like to go along.

Further afield Rambers Holidays offer  Jersey a  compact destination; just twelve miles by nine it’s the largest of the Channel Islands and great for a week’s island walking

Saturday walk 28th April

April 13, 2018 by

Some additional and amended information about the walk on Saturday 28th April. Meet at  Rearsby church 10am parking on Brookside if required. Rather than bus to Melton we will be walking to Melton then bus back so bring bus pass or cash for fare (5A every 20 minutes see link details of 5A service). For those who wish there is the option of a meal and or drink at Wetherspoons which is opposite the bus stop (See reviews on TripAdvisor).

The walk is 8.5 miles  (see the route here) and will use a part of the Leicestershire Round, the restored Waterhouse Bridge. We will skirt south of Asfordby before taking the causeway across the former gravel pit on the approach to Kirby Bellars. To reach Melton our walk uses a highway through Sysonby Grange a route that LFA submitted a Definitive Map Modification Order in 1996 . We can review progress on this application.

I look forward to seeing you.  Ken B