Newsletter Spring 2015

by

LEICESTERSHIRE FOOTPATH ASSOCIATION

Newsletter Spring 2015

32 Short Walks using part of the Leicestershire Round

32-short-walksEver fancied walking the Round but didn’t want to plod the whole 100 miles? 32 short walks might be your salvation. The book was produced for the millennium and is now out of print but you can still access the walks from our website.

32-walks

The map shows the location of the walks and as you will see there are some gaps so even if you did the 32 short walks you would not have walked the whole Round. We would like your help to fill the gaps. We can either offer a route for you to follow and write up or you might like to devise your own. Volunteers please contact Ken at leicestershire.footpaths@gmail.com or telephone 01949 843572.

Peak District on Google Street View It is now possible to enjoy North Lees and the Tissington, Monsal and High Peak trails from the comfort of your own home. Filming over the summer by national park volunteers with the Google Trekker camera has gone live online. The volunteers captured 360° images of various Peak locations, making it the first national park to be ‘virtually accessible’.

To see the virtual trails using your computer, tablet or browser, go to http://maps.google.co.uk, search for a location such as Monsal Trail and click either the ‘Street view’ or the ‘yellow man’ icon.

Walk Leaders Maps

In February the committee was asked to comment on the copyright issues regarding Ordnance Survey maps. One LFA group like to issue a map of the walk route to all participants, a custom that originated as a navigation training exercise. Some of the reasons put forward for copy maps was to avoid spoiling paper maps in foul weather (a map case will assist here) and the need to fold or use two maps where a walk is on the edge of a map. This latter issue is resolved by printing seamless digital maps from on line sources.

Our understanding is that OS will permit a copy being made for personal use. It was reported that a copy shop had refused to make more than one copy from a paper map but an update on this confirmed that they no longer impose any restriction. It was also reported that subscribers to OS getamap have a print option of multiple copies.

As a responsible organisation we wish to support walk leaders to ensure that the route they plan uses only the correct definitive or permissive paths and as such in the past we have kept paper maps up to date with path changes and offered these maps for inspection to leaders. This option is still available but other online opportunities are perhaps now more convenient.

Leicestershire County Council paths online not the Definitive Map but it should offer up to date information to show any major changes to the network and path numbers for easy identification see: 
http://www.leics.gov.uk/index/environment/countryside/paths/maps_of_paths.htm
Streetmap: Offers you the opportunity to print off a limited portion of OS map at 1:50,000 and 1:25,000. I have been unable to discover a way to overlay a walk route onto the map other than with a pen onto the paper copy see:

http://www.streetmap.co.uk/

Bing Maps: Offers an opportunity to upload routes or create a route as a layer on to OS at 1:50,000 and 1:25,000. If you subscribe (free) you can save routes and email them to friends. While they can be viewed on screen over OS mapping you can’t print the route with OS as the basemap see:
http://www.bing.com/maps

OS getamap: You can subscribe (from £17.95 / year) or register for free (limited accessibility). I registered and was able to create or upload routes which were displayed on OS 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 but I couldn’t print them. See:

http://www.getamap.ordnancesurveyleisure.co.uk/

Viewranger: This has a lot of walks on offer but they can only be downloaded to an app on your phone. Tell me more if I’m wrong. See:

http://www.viewranger.com/en-gb

Memory Map: This offers software and mapping loaded on your own computer so no need to be online to use it. It allows creation of routes or tracks to be saved on your own computer or shared with others. Prices have fallen and you can now get OS 1:50,000 for the whole country at £100 and 1:25,000 again whole country at £300. You can also get limited coverage (25,000sqkm) from £25. See:

http://www.memory-map.co.uk/shop/

Leicestershire County Council owned farms.

Leicestershire Local Access Forum (LLAF) created a sub group to investigate the opportunities to create new Public Rights of Way to improve the existing network. The sub group examined plans of farmland due for tenancy renewal and formulated recommendations to discuss with the County Council Operational Real Estate Manager. The outcome of these discussions included joint investigation into a route suitable for people with disabilities and families with pushchairs at Quorn.

Plans where tenancies are due to end in 2015 include farmland at Mowsely, Broughton Astley and Husbands Bosworth. The subgroup recommended a PRoW on the land at Mowsely, but felt there were no opportunities of enhancing the PRoW network on the other farmland.

At Hall Farm Blaby with the planning permission rejected it was felt that it was an ideal time to re-examine the holding and to identify a suitable PRoW. The subgroup has recommended a number of PRoWs on this land which includes dedication of the permissive path.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced in the Autumn Statement on 3 December 2014 that additional funding would be made available to complete the English Coastal Path by 2020. On the following day the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg issued a press release on the funding for 2014/15 and 2015/16. A copy of the press release is available at:-

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/deputy-pm-commits-millionsto-speed-up-completion-of-coastal-paths

New coastal access rights enabling people to enjoy 36km of coastline between Allonby and Whitehaven came into force in April 2014. In Norfolk a new right of coastal access was opened between Sea Palling and Weybourne in December 2014. The whole coastal path when completed will be just under 3,000 miles and be no more than 75 miles from anyone. I’m not sure what happens at the border with Wales and Scotland but it sounds a great project and potentially opens up stretches of coastline that have been inaccessible.

I mentioned The Cross Britain Way briefly in the last issue. I now have the guide and offer more information. This 280 mile walk starts at Boston Lincolnshire and ends at Barmouth on the Welsh coast. Why Boston, why Lincolnshire? These were my immediate questions and the answer is simple, this is part of the growing Macmillan stable of walks and links with their original route from the south coast.

cross-britain-way-plus

The guide at 144 pages has descriptive text of the route, separated from background information for places of interest along the way. There are also hand drawn maps which were easy to translate onto Ordnance Survey. Flicking through the book with it’s abundant small photographs it soon had me wanting to pull on my boots and make a start. See the Macmillan Way Association website and click on publications, down this page you will find the guide available at £11.99 + £1.50 postage.

I’m pleased to see that a new route has been found to exit Boston rather than taking the easy option of following the Macmillan Way. Inevitably in Lincolnshire there is a lot of river bank or road walking and a number of warnings that the cross field path was blocked by a crop.

The walk joins the Grantham canal to the west of the town and enters Leicestershire by crossing over the River Devon at Woolsthorpe by Belvoir. It follows the Jubilee Way before dropping down into Stathern. I’m a bit concerned about the course chosen across to Hose, it uses a section

of narrow twisting road when safe off road routes are available.

At Hose it again joins the canal towpath which before Hickling passes over the border into Nottinghamshire. Back in county LFA members will be familiar with the route though Wymeswold then along the King’s Brook to Stanford on Soar. Hathern is the next point of entry and a visit to the church at Breedon was a good choice before the delightful pool side path at Melbourne and a visit to Calke both in Derbyshire but well used by our walking groups. The guide states that the pool side path is permissive, I wonder why? It’s shown on the OS as definitive. There were also a few revelations where the route used paths I had not know to be public.

Most of the Leicestershire section is in the North West. It was disappointing but not a surprise to see a warning that there may be no path cut through the crop between Diseworth and Tonge an issue I have recently reported to LCC myself. From Heath End the CBW follows the Ivanhoe Way for 8 miles through Ashby to Moira. From here it’s just a short step back into Derbyshire and onward to Wales. Taking a snapshot of the area I know, the route takes in suitable landmarks and places of interest if this is a feature of the whole walk then it should offer an appealing while challenging walk.

The guide includes an accommodation list, some on route, some just off but already I note some services in Leicestershire have changed. Perhaps they will use the website to keep the accommodation list current.

West of Leicestershire highlights along the route include, Shugborough Hall, Cannock Chase, Ironbridge, Wenlock Edge, Church Stretton and Long Mynd. Into Wales there is Welshpool, Lake Vyrnwy, Bala Lake and Dolgellau then finally across the impressive estuary viaduct to enter Barmouth.

LFA walking Weekend Friday 7th – Tuesday 11th August 2015

The Bear Inn at Street

The Bear Inn at Street

A longer walking break has been arranged for LFA members at The Bear Inn, Street, Somerset: Just a stones throw from Glastonbury and literally opposite the Clarks shopping village. There are plenty of walks accessible from the hotel and lots of National Trust properties in the area.

Cost approx. £45 – £50 per night per person Bed and Breakfast, based on 2 people sharing. Cost dependent on numbers. Evening meal may be booked in their restaurant at additional cost. Only a limited number of single rooms available, members are encouraged to share twin bedded rooms. Numbers required by Friday 10th April 2015. Contact Cindy W for details: Tel 0116 2234851 or mobile 07711729830.

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Martin W deeply thanks everyone who sent cards, messages of support and who were able to come and celebrate Kath’s life; these are so helpful. He hopes to come on more walks!

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The 2015 Annual General Meeting took place on Saturday 28th February when it was nice to see some old faces who no longer walk with us but still support the aims of the Association. Discussion centred on the size of some groups and the difficulty of keeping contact between leader and back marker. Please find enclosed with this newsletter a copy of the Check List of Leaders which if followed should overcome any difficulties. Heather reminded us that the Wednesday and Thursday walks had been started to reduce pressure of numbers. Any volunteers to start a Monday or Friday group? Cindy invited suggestions for projects on which to spend our accumulated funds, further suggestions to Cindy or the Secretary please. Neil reported on the need for volunteers to fill three officer posts next year and offered a fixed term of 4 years and the next twelve months mentoring.

Adrian W from LOROS entertained us with slides of the Coast to Coast fund raising walks and we raised £70 on a raffle to win a number of Julia Bradbury walking DVDs.

The new lunch arrangement was well received serving 60 with a salad and yummy puddings. Volunteers willing this could be used again next year. A long and a short walk left others pot washing and putting the room back as we found it. Thanks to everyone who helped make this another good day.

Volunteer Warden Required – Shackestone – Nailstone (3 1/2 miles)

Shackerstone station footbridge

Shackerstone station footbridge

The Leicestershire Round was devised in 1987 in celebration of what was then thought to be the Leicestershire Footpath Association’s centenary year. In an effort to help preserve and maintain the ease of passage along the 100 mile route of the Round for fellow walkers, the Volunteer Wardens Scheme was re-introduced in 2013, under the umbrella of the Leicestershire Footpath Association with backing from Leicestershire County Council. Currently there is a vacancy for a volunteer warden to cover the above part section. The scheme is run on an informal basis but the volunteer warden would be expected to walk the part section at least once a year and report any obstructions, damage etc. and place or renew Leicestershire Round adhesive stickers on waymark posts where required. Most find the role enjoyable and rewarding.

If you would like to volunteer as warden for this part section of the Leicestershire Round, wish to put your name forward for the reserve list of wardens or require any further information, please contact David W, co-ordinator, on 01664 812510

The Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust is the largest non-governmental organisation dedicated to nature conservation in the two counties. It currently has 26 nature reserves in Leicestershire covering about 757.5 hectares (1871 acres). The Trust has a positive policy towards access and try to do as much as they can to encourage it while striving to maintain and enhance the nature conservation value of the estate to the highest possible standards. In recent years they have purposefully replaced nearly all of the stiles on Trust land with gates, to make access for the less able easier. They also maintain miles of paths and woodland rides, and numerous boardwalks, steps, information boards and other features.

Situations Vacant in 2016

Brian J reported at the AGM that after 40 years on the committee and 9 years as LFA Secretary he will be standing down in 2016. We didn’t all realise that for many years Brian has carried out two rolls for LFA that of General Secretary and Diversions Secretary. It has been agreed that this should revert to separate rolls and therefore we seek two volunteers.

General Secretary: involves dealing with the general correspondence and administration (other than financial) of the Association. Arranging committee meetings and generally co-ordinating the smooth running of things. Much of the work is now done with the computer and does not require field work so would suit a supporter of LFA who for whatever reason may not walk.

Diversions Secretary: receives proposals for path diversions from County Hall and the Districts on which LFA committee has an opportunity to make comment or objection. Ideally the post holder would either know the path or be willing to take a look and report a recommendation to the committee. This roll may take the holder to previously unexplored parts of the county visiting unknown paths.

Jennifer Macg our Minutes Secretary has also indicated her wish to stand down. This roll involves attending the committee meetings (10 / year) and the AGM to take minutes then type them up.

All posts offer the opportunity to shadow during 2015 and take over at the 2016 AGM. We would be happy to extend the successful arrangement where the volunteer takes on the roll for a fixed term of say 3 or 4 years.

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Leicestershire Round Guide book

Leicestershire Round Guide book

Leicestershire Round Update

The Leicestershire Round guide will soon need replacing and as the last was only a reprint any new publication will need updating. A number of issues have been identified which need investigating. These range from minor errors or changes to the route description to possible changes to the route caused by development. We would like to create a working party to investigate and discuss the issues leading to a re-write of the guide for distribution in two years time. This may appear a long time ahead but in order to maintain the high profile of the Leicestershire Round it is essential that the guide does not become unavailable. We anticipate that discussion will take place by email with perhaps occasional site visits to inspect possible route changes. If you would like to be part of this project please email Ken at leicestershire.footpaths@gmail.com

 

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