Newsletter Autumn 2011

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King Richard lll slain at Bosworth

King Richard lll slain at Bosworth

I’ve been out and about a fair bit this summer, most recently by narrowboat on the Ashby canal. An interesting experience seeing the countryside from a different angle as we glided through the water. It was quite busy with boats making their way to the Shackerstone Festival which I’d never heard of but this is a big event so leaders beware and avoid a walk from the village while it’s on as parking is not allowed in Shackerstone during the festival. We stopped off near Shenton at the Battlefield mooring site which is adjacent to the memorial stone marking the ‘former’ spot where it was thought Richard lll fell in battle. There is now a sign explaining the recent discovery which is leading to the removal of this memorial. It is hoped it will be re-erected at the new location. There are also new interpretation boards around the whole site which acknowledge the new findings as reported in our last newsletter. See Bosworth Battlefield

I’ve also completed my long distance walk “The Great English Walk” devised by Brian and Margaret Nightingale and launched in 1997. The route of 600 miles took me on a fantastic trip through the shires of England starting at Chepstow bridge and ending at Berwick upon Tweed. I made easy work of it by doing it over a number of weeks in 2010 and 2011 but the final 140 miles I did over 7 days to arrive in Berwick on Monday 11th July. The authors acknowledge that at the time of writing there were some problems on sections of the route and I was pleased to find that many of their difficulties had been resolved. Clive may be interested to note that I submitted 170 reports of issues along the way, this is an average of one problem every 3.64 miles. The most problems were in Staffordshire with one every 1.46 miles compared with some authorities where I reported nothing. I was inspired to submit these reports having found those recorded in the guide had been resolved.

In committee

A steady flow of path changes come before us for consideration these are usually “in the interest of the landowner” but occasionally we do get proposals resulting from claims by the public. Most end up being appealed because of objections but a recent one submitted by Barkestone, Plungar and Redmile Parish Council has sailed through unopposed despite it passing through a domestic garden. I understand that the owner will be submitting a diversion application to move the path to the boundary of their property so all concerned should be happy with this one.

By contrast at Isley Walton the Parish Council and local residents are against this extension of footpath L98 which currently finishes at Manor Farm and does not connect with another highway. A creation order relates to a section of driveway 120 metres north of the farm, so that a link for walkers will result in the footpath meeting the A453 Walton Hill opposite the road to Melbourne.

We considered an application for a Gating Order by Latimer Primary School in Anstey of a footpath which passes between their split site. They are claiming that discarded needles are a threat to the safety of the people using the path. Although we are sympathetic to this issue we are not sure how gating the path and closing it during specified hours would make a difference to the dropping of needles. It is a well used path and the alternative is 188m longer and partly along a busy road. We are therefore opposing their proposal.

We have a watching brief on plans in Blaby for the County Arms site. There was access to the canal towing path through the car park until the pub closed. We will take all steps available to ensure access to the towpath is provided through new development of the site.

In June our Treasurer reported that we have 290 paid members with 22 new members joining so far this year. In addition we have 52 Parish Councils in membership.

Red Tape

The unnecessary rules and regulations that strangle economic activity or protect the public. The Government are reviewing Rights of Way legislation with a view to removing the burden on landowners or is it putting the path user at risk? We need to be vigilant on these proposals.

In the fields

There are still occasional problems on walks, especially where the group is large. Leaders need to ensure that the whole group follow a few simple rules as set out in our Check List and Information for Leaders distributed to all members with the summer programme. Please take extra care of the following:- 

  • Don’t loose anyone because the party strings out too far or because someone goes off and does their own thing. If the party is large know who your back marker is and keep in contact. If a member leaves the group they must tell someone they are leaving so we don’t send out a search party.
  • Gate Hold or Close. If the leader opens a gate they must ensure that the last person closes it

Clive was pleased to report on a new bridge which has been erected on footpath C98 from Cold Newton to Tilton while Ken added that he had found two new bridges when walking in the Hallaton area. Brian reported on the restoration of the bridge at Thrussington Mill which had cost £28,000. We are indeed fortunate! 

Leicestershire Round

Leicestershire Round sew on badge

Leicestershire Round sew on badge

We have sourced a new stock of badges for those who complete The Leicestershire Round. We have also managed to maintain the price so if you have recently walked the whole 100 miles of the Round and have not got your sew on badge see or send your request to Heather along with £2.50 or a cheque made out to Leicestershire Footpath Association.

Walking Festivals

Chris M represented us at the launch of the Leicestershire Walking Festival. As part of this 39 people (6 non members) walked from the Bradgate Arms. Heather’s walk from Donnington-le-Heath Manor House as part of the National Forest Walking Festival had twelve participants while Brian led a walk from Heather for 24 people. We hope these walks get our name known, introduce folk to group walks and perhaps bring us new members.

Weekends away

Tim has announced that this October’s weekend away at Honily near Kenilworth will be the last he organises, our thanks to Tim for his work which has resulted in some enjoyable weekend events.

Larpool Hall

Larpool Hall

John R has offered to organise a walking weekend at Whitby, North Yorkshire. Depending on numbers interested the stay would be at the Holiday fellowship home, Larpool Hall Whitby in June of 2012. Members interested in supporting such a weekend should contact John and leave a message on his answer phone, telephone 0116 225 5360 and he will get back to you. John knows the area and would lead the walks. The sooner expressions of interest are notified then accommodation can be arranged.

We used to have a spring and autumn weekend so there is opportunity for two volunteers.

On the Web

I’m grateful to Neil B for inputting content onto the site. Brian, Neil, Heather and myself got together recently to explore the many features of the site and we have agreed to make a few changes. The main page will have all the latest news including the Tuesday start points as they are announced. These posted items will also be available under ‘Categories’ in the right hand column such as ‘Tuesday Start Points’. This information is proving popular as this page is getting the most hits, yes the webmaster can see what you are looking at!!

We are also inviting you to send in a link to your favourite or useful walking website. This may also include sites that we have been asked to provide a link to so we will make the comment box available and invite you to say how useful you find the linked sites. 

We are still looking for submission of more content so please take a look and see what you could contribute.

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