Autumn 2010 – Newsletter

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Leicestershire Country Park Walks - book cover

Leicestershire Country Parks Walks

Our Leicestershire Country Park Walks book is now published, with the aim of encouraging new walkers, tempting them onto easy, well maintained paths with the option of extending their mileage into nearby villages and places of interest.

It is now on sale in bookshops, country park shops and  garden centres and our next task is to find further sales outlets.  Cordee will be selling online and to big bookshop chains but we would like to reach the places they cannot reach.  We have the man and woman power and the local knowledge to do this.

You can help, please contact Heather.

  • Have you a small village shop or a well used tea room or a heritage centre near you which might be willing to take a dozen copies on sale or return?
     
    Do you belong to a group who do occasional walks and would be interested to know of easy walks of between one and six miles for their members?
  • Could you show them a copy of the book and a flyer with your contact number so that we could deliver to them?
  • Would you be willing to call in at regular intervals to check sales at the places we have already established?

The enclosed leaflet gives a flavour of the book. With Christmas not too far away we invite you to purchase a copy for family and friends who haven’t yet got the walking bug.  If you don’t use the leaflet to place an order, please pass it on.

Election of Chair at 2011 AGM

 

Our present chairman will have served his three years at our next AGM. Can any member volunteer to take on this position. The main requirements are to attend eight committee meetings a year and our AGM and have the confidence to chair meetings. Detailed knowledge of footpath law and procedure is not necessary. If interested please contact our Secretary to discuss further.

Better footpaths  –  It is now easier to enjoy Leicestershire’s footpaths, thanks to improvements across the County. In the past 12 months, 364 stiles have been replaced by gaps in fences or gates – after discussion with landowners. Also, some muddy paths have been resurfaced and signs installed.

Ernie White, Leicestershire County Council Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “We are helping people to be healthier, by creating better paths where they live, so they can walk more and use cars less. The improvements help anyone who struggles with steps on stiles, including families with smaller children, the elderly, the less mobile and dog walkers.”

At last year’s AGM Clive Fennell posed the question to our speaker, Andrew Poole, asking about trends with the numbers of Obstructions reported on Rights of Way in Leicestershire. Andrew has supplied the following.

“Below is a graph I believe the 2009 figure may not cover the complete year so is probably a bit depressed, as the 2002 figure might be due to the after effect of paths being closed due to Foot and Mouth. Given this there does seem to be a discernible trend downwards from 2004 to 2007. It should be noted though that this is reports of all kinds of problems, not just obstructions, so it would include things like waymark posts or footpath signs that are missing, needing repair or replacement – which don’t block the path in any way but do hinder it’s usability compared to our normal standards.”

Leicestershire path problem reports 2002-09
Leicestershire path problem reports 2002-09

We are the eyes for the County Council Inspectors. Part of our constitution is the protection of footpaths not just for our own benefit but for those who follow us, tomorrow or in fifty years time. To maintain the quality of path we have come to expect in Leicestershire we must continue to submit reports where there are problems. Please do your bit. Andrew has suggested that reports can easily be submitted on line at at www.leics.gov.uk/reportaproblem

Long walks are designed to be different, to provide rambles in new, interesting and scenic locations. A walk on Tues. 22nd June was certainly different & special.

What a beautiful day this was for a long walk just north of the Cotswolds.  Whichford, that day’s venue, nestles in a quiet valley close to the Warwickshire/Oxfordshire border surrounded by verdant fields, woods and gentle hills.  This community is a fine example of a quintessential English Village with an ancient church, old stone thatch cottages with colourful gardens and a village green in front of the pub.  We also noticed several grand period houses set in ample grounds, obviously built in the past by wealthy residents.

Starting from the church in bright sunshine the walk passed along the main street out into the countryside on field paths into Oxfordshire to reach the large village of Hook Norton.  This village gave its name to the quality beer found in pubs throughout the Midlands and our ramble past the brewery door.  Greeted on arrival by the Drayman preparing his wagon for a horse drawn beer delivery, he invited us into their Visitors Centre & Museum with the offer of a free glass of ale.  Instantly accepting the invite we had an absorbing tour of the establishment ending with a glass of the beer of our choice sat comfortably in their lounge.

As leader I noticed a reluctance to leave the building but just down the lane was The Pear Tree Inn, our lunch stop, with the famous Hook Norton Beer on tap.

After an ample lunch the party fortified by real ale returned leisurely through a beautiful hilly landscape of fields and woods to reach our cars back at Whichford as the Village Church Clock struck 4 pm.

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Long walks are arranged every fortnight for the more able and discerning ramblers who like walks more challenging, imaginative and varied, so, if you are an L.F.A. member bored with walks eternally wandering round the same villages and repeatedly entering the same lunch time pubs why not come with us and see different villages and more interesting areas, I am sure you will enjoy our selected locations and walking with some splendid like-minded companions.

These long walks are no faster, just a bit longer but with time to stop and admire the view and we have a car sharing arrangement to minimise travel costs to the start point.    

                                                                                    John J.

From the web

The Leicestershire Round now has a page on the County Council website at http://www.leics.gov.uk/index/environment/countryside/walking/round.htm
There is also an update page which already has lots of information so take a look if you are planning to walk The Round or even a part of it.

There is a link to BBC Radio Leicester’s site and Chris Baxter’s report on his walk around The Round in 2009 a good ‘Listen again’ plus lots of pictures.

Also Andrew Wynne, a local artist, walked the Leicestershire Round in March 2008. His website includes his itinerary and reviews of the accommodation at which he stayed. http://www.andrewwynne.co.uk/Writings.htm

On a visit to Church Streeton in Shropshire I saw a sign saying ‘Walkers are Welcome’  on investigation I found  http://www.walkersarewelcome.org.uk/ but I couldn’t see a Leicestershire location. Any suggestions as to where in Leicestershire there should be a sign ‘Walkers are Welcome’?

From Ted G….. http://www.dash4it.co.uk/store/  for cut price O.S. maps & more.

You are invited to submit words and especially pictures which we can now load easily and in abundance so submit please see our contact page.

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