Author Archive

October weekend away – book now

March 2, 2018

This year the autumn weekend away is planned for 19-22 October. Venue the Old Hall Hotel in the centre of Buxton. A great place for linear walks take the bus or train out and walk back. Get a Greater Manchester Wayfarer ticket (Just £8.00 for all this) for a train ride into central Manchester. Or take the Macclefield bus to the famous Cat and Fiddle Inn for a walk up Shining Tor. Members who wish to participate should contact Davis Hinds before 17th March details below. (Suggested tours are dreams from the web editor not guaranteed to be part of the weekend).

Old Hall Hotel - Buxton

Old Hall Hotel – Buxton

For further information email  or 01664 482938.


Leicestershire Footpath Association Annual Report for 2017

February 28, 2018

Presidents Remarks

I would like to start on a positive note. Our Association is one hundred and thirty years old this year (1887-2017). This longevity is mainly explained by the dedication given both by ordinary members and officials, in the work of walking and protecting public rights of way in our county. Any organisation is dependent on members volunteering to take on tasks to manage its business. By the time you receive this report I can advise you change is in the air both in your officers and committee.

I would like to record my thanks to all members who have assisted in the work of our Association.

In particular I must mention Neil B who will have completed his four years as Chairman by the time of our AGM in 2018. He joined his first Tuesday walk in April, 1999. In 2010 he joined the committee and soon became vice-chair. In 2013 he was elected chairman and has safely guided the business of our the Association until now. Neil and his wife Jackie have enjoyed so much pleasure both walking and socially with members.

The publication of the new Leicestershire Round guide was planned for something to be achieved this year. The dedication of Ken B to this task is acknowledged. We are indebted to him for his work on this project. I had an opportunity in May on Radio Leicester to give some publicity to the publication and at the same time explaining details of the “Hound and Round” money raising venture incorporating all of the Leicestershire Round.

I have attended four committee meetings during the year which helps me to keep up to speed with matters under discussion. I was shocked at one meeting to learn of the theft of the bronze memorial plaque to Alderman W.H. Rippin on Beacon Hill. He was a champion of people’s footpath rights. In the early days of the Footpath Association, he often went out with a pair of pliers and cutters and, convinced of his legal right, removed barbed wire and other obstructions from public footpaths. The memorial had been erected in the early 1950’s and remained intact until this year.

I continue to act as the intermediary between our Association and the Charity Commission, keeping them informed of our existence, the names of our committee members and our financial position. I have access to our website and occasionally post something of interest.

I will close on a personal note. On a recent Tuesday walk I completed my twelve hundredth walk with the Association. My first walk was an evening walk from Ratby on the 24th July, 1974

Brian J

Chairman’s Remarks

Well this is my 4 year term as Chairman at an end. It has been a most interesting time following and being involved with, the work of the various functions of the committee. I shall remain available for the committee. I can’t stress enough the need for members who enjoy their walking to take their turn to keep the LFA running. If I can do it any of you can.

Our A.G.M. this year will be at The Elms in Wigston Magna. This is the first change for many years from Woodhouse Eaves. Cindy, Jenny Thompson and friends did a much appreciated job with the lunches in the previous three years. It is an onerous task and we always meant to find a venue which offered catering at a reasonable cost. We will see how it goes.

Over my tenure there have also been many changes in the makeup of the committee as long serving members have, and are, standing down. I have thanked several in previous communications. First and foremost this time I wish to endorse Brian’s thanks to Ken B. I was pleased to have a small input to his very successful Leicestershire Round book. Also I thank Dave R our Treasurer as he stands down who, apart from his meticulous accounts, has been a valued committee member. Roger C is another long serving member who, as walks co-ordinator, has prepared the walk programme and organised its printing for at least 10 years. Thank you Roger. We need a regular replacement for him – any offers? Standing down after quite a few years as Wednesday Organiser is Roger Whittle who I would also thank.

I can now welcome two new committee members this year, Vice Chairman Andy T and Lynne K, Assistant Treasurer who, with the AGM approval, will be taking on the roles of Chairman and Treasurer respectively. I know they will both be an asset to the LFA Thanks are due also to new walks organisers.

There just remains my thanks to the rest of the existing committee who have fully played their part in the aims of the LFA, about which you will read elsewhere. They have all applied themselves to whatever role and made my job pleasant and worthwhile.

If all the above looks like an over verbose OSCAR winner’s speech I’m sorry but it is my last chance to say thank you in writing to many people on your behalf as well as my own.

Many members have said to me how good the footpaths and signage is in Leicestershire compared to other counties they come across. This is due to the efforts of all those committees past and present and the relationship with the County Council.

Here’s looking forward to another good year of walks.

Neil B

Secretary’s Report

Another busy year for the LFA, marked by unique events and our 130 year anniversary. The publication of the new Leicestershire Round book has been very successful and our thanks go to all our contributors and to Ken B for his unstinting commitment to its revision and excellent new format. We assisted the Leicestershire Animal Aid and prostAID in their fundraising endeavours by providing walk leaders for many sections of the Leicestershire Round. We are indebted to those who took on the leadership challenge and our efforts helped to raise £1839.60.

The committee has met six times to date since the 2016 AGM with another planned for January 2018. Simon C was unable to continue as our obstruction secretary and Angela H took on the role for us. We welcomed 2 new committee members recently, Andy T and Lynne K who have taken on the roles of Vice Chairman and Assistant Treasurer respectively.

Correspondence via the website has again predominantly been queries about venues for walks. We have maintained correspondence with the LCC regarding Shackerstone Railway bridge as work, though promised, has not yet been started by the Railway Society whose responsibility it is. Station Lane in Leire has now been dedicated and can now be added to the Definitive Footpath maps. We have applied for a further 11 map modification orders claiming lost ways which has entailed a large number of notices to be sent to interested parties in the relevant areas. We would very much welcome members interest and future involvement in the project as there are many more that need our help to safeguard them for future walkers.

Unfortunately the Rippin Memorial Plaque, sited at Beacon Hill, was stolen. This was originally funded by the LFA in commemoration of William Rippin’s fifty year work in preserving footpaths and to A. Gimson and A Billson for their gift of land. The LFA is working with the LCC to fund and erect a replacement.

Cindy W

Diversions and Closures

Firstly some updates on issues which are ongoing and included in last year’s report.

Gaps in the Leicestershire Round

The gap at Leire has been legally bridged, but those at Thorpe Satchville and Thorpe Langton still remain to be resolved. As far as I am aware there is no immediate threat to these routes.

Footpath U50 at Elmesthorpe

Our application to resolve this very long-standing issue has gone out for formal consultation. It is understood that the Parish Council are generally supportive, but one or two vociferous members of the Residents’ Association oppose our use of Billington Road East – the same ones who have objected to all previous proposals – the bottom line is that they don’t want walkers anywhere near their properties. Hopefully, LCC will continue the process in spite of these objections.

Bridleway R67 at Crown Farm, Nailstone

Good news here, as the path has been re-opened, hopefully permanently this time. Bridleway users have issues with one gate not giving sufficient width to pass through easily, but walkers are a little more manoeuvrable, and possibly slimmer. Rumours of the landowner relocating to Norfolk appear to be no more than that, but his, or his wife’s, attitude, seems to be more conciliatory.

Leicestershire Round at Shackerstone station

Regrettably, Leicestershire County Council had to take court action against the Battlefield Line, with the result that the latter have been a year’s grace to carry out the necessary works.

H108/H108a/H37 at Frisby Lakes

Order now confirmed, and my friendly local dog walker reports no issues.

Magna Park, Lutterworth

Two major applications were recently approved by Harborough DC, and we feel the needs of walkers have been given reasonable consideration, within the constraints of such a major development.

A117 footbridge at Little Bowden

I had hoped here to report that all was now open, but Network Rail have just gone back to Harborough DC with a revised planning application to alter the design of the bridge – incredible incompetence or blatant delaying tactics – I leave you to judge.

Bardon Quarry Extension

As previously reported, we are now at a low-point in the path closure scenario. Things should improve in 2019, and by the end of 2020, we should get back to a reasonably joined-up network in the area.


We now appear to have a final route through Leicestershire, which reverts to the original line through Measham, but avoiding the tunnel under East Midlands Airport. I am anticipating engaging with HS2 through the Local access Forum to put our case for the retention of a viable footpath network, and press for improvements where the opportunity arises.

Landowner engagement

I am pleased to note that two significant, but not controversial, proposals for diversions at Blaston and Nevill Holt have been the subject of approaches to user groups before a formal application was submitted. The benefits of this to both parties are obvious – other landowners and developers please take note.

I20 Crossing at Barrow-upon-Soar

The final showdown with Network Rail on this issue is now imminent. An extinguishment order has been made by Leicestershire County Council, with no alternative provision other than by use of existing roads has been made. By the time you read this our objection will have been lodged. There will inevitably be a Public Inquiry, and all user groups, many individuals, and I believe Barrow Parish Council, will fight as hard as we can for a better outcome.

M1 Junction 19 at Catthorpe

All work now complete, and the revised network of paths should be fully available for use.

Temporary Closures

I am aware of 29 current rights of way temporary closure orders, some of several years duration. There may be others which have not come to my attention, and even other closures which have not been through the correct legal process. Some of these result in long, and possibly dangerous, diversions, especially for groups of walkers. so I think we can all play a part in keeping authorities and developers on their toes, by questioning everything we find, especially if no site notices are in evidence. I hope to put my list of knowns’ on the LFA website shortly. Areas of particular concern at the moment are Lubbesthorpe SUE, Barwell SUE, Market Harborough Airfield site, and East Midlands Gateway near Kegworth.

Unrecorded Ways

Our LAF Project Team continue to build up a pool of researchers to move the project forward, and we now have funding from four major user groups (including the LFA of course) and Leicestershire County Council. Two recent recruitment/training events, at Glenfield and Coalville, were well received and attracted new recruits to the cause, and we are seeking to maintain the enthusiasm built up by getting researchers directly involved with specific routes or areas of interest, where significant possibilities exist for routes of public benefit. The LFA tops the list of existing DMMO applicants at the moment. However, these are largely the work of Ken B, who has now stood down from involvement with the project. so we need new researchers to replace him – a very tough call. I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Ken for all the work he has done to improve our paths network by submitting claims, several of which have already come to fruition. In particular, I am now looking for someone to take of the cause for three routes – in Anstey, Scalford, and Wykin, where much groundwork has been done but either a formal claim is needed, or further evidence to strengthen an existing one.

Confirmed Path Orders

Finally, after all the above, I come to report on the job implied in my title.

In all 31 Orders for Diversions, Creations and Closures have been confirmed since my last annual report. Some have been covered above, and others were more technical than significant, but I think several others merit a mention in this report – although I have now had my arm twisted and thirst quenched by the Newsletter Editor to report such events in the Newsletter on a regular basis.

Firstly several new paths creaked either by Map Modification Orders or Deeds of Dedication, which now mean the route is fully protected from development – most are of the nature of short urban routes which are more useful for local residents going about their daily business than likely to be included in recreational walks.

Y106 at North Kilworth (across former pub Car Park)

I118 at Barrow-upon-Soar (near the Soar Bridge Inn)

Z115 & Z116 at the former County Arms, Glen Parva, linked the canal towpath with Leicester Road and Little Glen Road respectively.

E65a and E65b – new bridleways off King Street Lane, south of Stonesby – albeit one has been upgraded from an existing footpath.

E16c in Melton Mowbray linking Nottingham Road and Scalford Road to the north of the Cattle Market.

I119 in Walton-on-the-Wolds linking Poplar Hill and Black Lane.

E349 over the border in Preston (Rutland) linking Main Street with Ridlington Road

Now one part extinguishment, of footpath E13a at Eye Kettleby Mill, shortly to be replaced by a bridleway when the redevelopment of the site is complete.

Significant diversions are only two in number:-

Firstly in the vicinity of Mount Pleasant Farm in Leicester Forest West, to avoid the farm

itself and adjacent horse paddocks, after several unpleasant incidents of walkers’ dogs attacking horses, and verbal abuse by the their owners.

Secondly, and finally, the diversions associated with the new Amazon warehouse near Ellistown, which involve the closure of one rail crossing which became redundant, as well as the grand tour of the warehouse – probably sufficient for a short morning walk in itself.

I am sure the Editor is already telling me this report is too long, so I will end by saying that, if your particular cause celebre has not been covered, or if you require further detail on anything included in the report, I am always willing to answer questions, calls or e-mails throughout the year, as well as at the AGM.

Stan W

Treasurer’s Report

2017 has seen significant expenditure on the new Leicestershire guide book and a slight drop in membership numbers. With 29 new members, 13 leaving for various reasons and 21 non-renewals the total membership now sits at 340. Parish council membership has fallen by 1 to 39.

The project to launch the new Leicestershire Round guide book was a complete success, with massive thanks due to Ken B for his dedication in walking the whole route, revamping the text, incorporating superb OS mapping and arranging the printing. The end product is an excellent book which has been selling in good numbers since its launch in May. The overall cost this year has been £4,587.05, which is higher than expected, but with income so far this year amounting to £2,200 we are well on course to recovering most of our outlay during the coming year.

All of the LFA’s stock holding of Country Park Walks books has now been passed to our book distributor Cordee limited for sale through retail outlets, by which means it continues to sell in steady numbers, with sales this year totalling £720.

Despite the large outlay on the Leicestershire Round guide book, the overall financial position of the Association remains in a very healthy state, with a closing bank balance of £6,134.04 and the saving account holding £5,202.15, giving total funds of £11,336.19. Details of the year’s activities can be seen in the Financial Statement in the centrefold of the Annual Report.

As is now the custom, I am pleased to enclose the chart below to show the saleable assets of the Association.

After five years in the role, 2017 is my final year as treasurer/membership secretary, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have assisted me during this time. It has been both interesting and enjoyable, but the time has come to pass the

Assets of the Association Sales Value

In stock with Cordee (distributors):

481 Leicestershire Round guide books 1,914.38

150 Country Park Walks books 479.40

In stock with LFA (for direct sales)

29 Leicestershire Round guide books 288.55

85 Leicestershire Round badges 212.50

Total prospective sales value £2,894.83

reigns, and I am pleased to be handing over to Lynne K, who I wish all the very best in the role.

Finally, I am pleased to remind members that the AGM last February agreed that the subscription charge for 2018, which falls due from 1st January, will remain at £5.00 per member.

Dave R

Webmaster’s Report

2017 sees another increase in activity on the website 19,450 visitors with an average of just under 3 pages per visit. The walks programme page is still getting the most hits and I put this down to our own members finding it an easy way to check where the walks start. The Leicestershire Round page comes second but if we add to that 32 short walks based on the Round then the combined figure puts the Round top with 10,000 views. Having walked a short part of Wainwright’s Coast to Coast this year meeting and chatting to others tramping the same path, it became evident that the C2C draws in many foreign tourists. With views identified from the USA and near continent I hope that our site offers a warm welcome for overseas visitors to walk in Leicestershire.

It’s also interesting to see (and discover I can see) which other sites are directing web browsers to our site. Nothing is secret on line.

What next? With the demise of the LCC Leicestershire Round pages I believe LFA must lead promotion of our Round but I’ve done my bit over the years and will be standing down. I can still manage the site from afar but it’s up to you the ‘on the ground’ members to provide the input. I was pleased to see a flurry of activity at the end of 2017 and hope this will continue. Each Walk organiser already has access to the site to upload material; the next step is for committee members to provide input relating to their specific responsibility. Too many website die because there is no fresh input. The world is moving from paper to online information. The Leicestershire Footpath Association must keep up.

Ken B

News Letter Editor Report

Having now produced my first newsletter I am happy to continue in the role. I hope to keep it both informative and interesting but as a comparatively new member of the committee I know little of the day in day out activities of the organisation. Such walking as I can still do is mostly in the high country with my climbing club and I only occasionally walk locally with the LFA or Ramblers where I am also an Officer. With both organisations I am more involved in the campaigning side of things so if the newsletter is to carry material about our walks I need input from the coordinators.

It is your newsletter so I welcome snippets from members as well. If you have discovered somewhere worth visiting or an interesting publication or route, share the knowledge with other members. Spotted a rare creature or plant on your walk? Taken an interesting photograph? Found a welcoming inn or tearoom? Please let me know.

If you want to promote a particular walk or trip inform me but bear in mind this is only a twice a year publication effectively meaning deadlines of February and August

I will also be looking for pieces from the committee keeping the members up to speed on what is being done in their name.

Roy D, Editor

Obstruction Secretary’s Report

First of all, my apologies as this will be a very brief report due to the fact that I only assumed the role of Obstructions Secretary in June.

Since then 31 individual reports of problems have been made to LCC via their website. Most of these have involved problems with stiles, overgrown vegetation or crops obliterating the route and fallen trees.

Responses from LCC vary. Sometimes there is no response at all and occasionally a response detailing action to be taken is sent, though these are becoming less frequent. I can only assume this is a sign of the times and due to reduced budgets and other priorities.

Another problem is that the reporting form on the website has been changed and is now very “user unfriendly”. However it is still important to report these matters, and I would like to urge all members to continue doing so, either themselves via LCC website, or to me at Please remember to include as much information as possible including date of walk, grid references for the site of the problem and footpath number if possible. Photographs are also useful in jpeg format as these can be uploaded to LCCs website.

Many thanks

Angela H

Walks Coordinator report

I have been the walks coordinator for twelve years, taking over from John J in 2005 and seen the LFA numbers grow from around 250 to the present day of around 350 so its benefitted from organic growth of new members and committee members and is a thriving active organisation serving the community in helping to preserve the Leicestershire Footpaths for the last 130 years.

The 2018 Summer programme will be my last programme when completed at the AGM. So it is time to hand over the reins to someone else, I have been ably assisted over the years by various (15) walks organisers collecting the data for inclusion onto the walks programme and the volunteer leaders to make it all possible so my many thanks for all their efforts.

Roger C

Leicestershire Round Volunteer Scheme

The volunteer warden scheme was reintroduced five years ago with both LFA members and non-members adopting sections of the Leicestershire Round, with the intention of ensuring a trouble free passage along the route for fellow walkers. The wardens are asked to check their section at least once a year, although I’m pleased to say that some do visit several times, and report back on any problems that are found.

Issues that have arisen during the year have included fallen trees and branches, broken and damaged stiles, finger boards, waymark posts, and rights of way not being reinstated in fields. Wardens have also suggested where the route would benefit from additional waymark posts.

Increasingly, another source of information about problems affecting the Round is the independently run Leicestershire Round Face Book page. Although there are some LFA

members who contribute, the website is managed and administered by non-members. Where problems have arisen and been reported on the website, I have been able to ask for clarification from the contributor and if necessary, asked the warden for that section to investigate further.

Whilst I hope that the current volunteer wardens will continue in their role, I am always pleased to hear from any LFA member who would like their name to be added to the reserve list of volunteers. I can be contacted at the telephone number attributed to me on the LFA Walking Programme.

Finally, on behalf of the Chairman and Committee of the LFA, I would like to thank the wardens for their continued help and support throughout the year.

LFA Summer Walks Programme 2017

To highlight the publication of the new Leicestershire Round Handbook, the LFA Committee endorsed the proposal that members walk, as much as possible, the Leicestershire Round throughout the summer, by devising a series of circular walks that each of the LFA Walking Groups would undertake. Using the now out of print LFA produced 32 Short Walks based on the Round as a template and walks devised by Ken B and myself, filling in the gaps, I’m pleased to report that most of the Round was visited throughout the summer.

I am grateful for the support with this initiative of Roger C, Walks Co-ordinator, Ken B, the respective Rambles Organisers and of course, the Walk Leaders.

David W

Tuesday Walks

We have enjoyed another good year for walking with mostly fine weather and only about three days with rain.

Our group goes from strength to strength and we currently have about 35 – 40 walkers each week walking approx. 5 – 6 miles.

I would like to congratulate our walk leaders who have done a marvellous job in choosing their routes and finding some fine hostelries able to accommodate our large group. We have seen some beautiful scenery and livestock including Alpaca’s.

Our short walk members organise their own routes usually about 3 miles and we all commence from the same venue. These are also very well attended.

Our Christmas Lunch which, preceded by a short walk, was held at the Shires Inn, Peatling Parva on Tuesday 12 December, Sixty members enjoyed an excellent festive lunch.

Tuesday Long Walk Group

The Tuesday long walk group, walk once a fortnight and cover 8 – 10 miles, usually 6 – 8 walkers taking part. This group is co-ordinated by John & Pat H. Contact relevant walk leader as shown in the Walks Programme for details of the start venue.

Rick S

Wednesday Walks

Well here I am again trying to think what to put in this years report, so, to try and get some

inspiration I thought I would check last years reports and noticed that the Tuesday walks organiser Jenny T had decided to hang up her organisers boots after 10 years which made me feel a bit embarrassed as I have decided to do the same, but only after 6 years in the job.

Peter C (Short Walks) and Robert H (Long Walks) have volunteered to take over, and by splitting the job should make finding leaders for both walks a lot easier. I wish them all the best and hope the Wednesday walkers will support our new organisers and get them of to good start.

In March on one of our short walks from Aylestone, a walker, whilst climbing over a metal gate slipped and injured himself, unfortunately it turned out that this part of the walk was not on the official footpath, which meant that we were unable to instruct our obstructions secretary to report this to the county council, fortunately the walker is now OK, but leaders please stick to the official footpaths as any problems likely to cause an accident can be corrected.

The weather this year has been pretty mixed as usual but with heavy rain in late Winter causing some walks to be cancelled, however in late Spring we experienced some exceptional sunny days and leaders providing some lovely walks, one in particular in May led by Tom B from Hoby, a walk we have done many times before, but on this occasion due to the lovely weather and time of year saw us walking through lush meadows covered in yellow buttercups and wild flowers, passing alongside rippling streams and hedgerows covered in May blossom and pastures with lambs and cattle, this is what makes our countryside rambles worth turning out for.

I cannot finish this my last report without mentioning once again the good work Ann C and friends have put in over the last few years to provide the Wednesday walkers with a Christmas buffet, the last one collecting about £340.00 for Charity. Well done and many thanks from all the Wednesday walkers.


Thursday Walks

I have now finished as Thursday Walks Organizer and handed over to Diane B who has agreed to take the role for the next 12 months.

Many thanks to all those members who lead our Walks and may they continue to do so. There is a wealth of experience within the group and if you are leading a walk for the first time you can always ask for help.

The new Leicestershire Round book has been very well received and the new format is easier to follow.

Di T

Saturday Walks

Another year of great walking in lovely Leicestershire. The walks continue to be well attended and well led. Leaders take a bow and thank you.

One of many highlights, the sight of a kingfisher actually catching a fish and flying off with it in a dazzling blue flash was magical !

I look forward to LFA walking next year with eager anticipation.”

Bob S

LFA October Walking Weekend

Our weekend this year was spent in Derbyshire where the majority of the group stayed for 3 nights. Our accommodation was the Makeney Hall Hotel 7 miles north of Derby originally the home of George one of the famous Strutt family. Food and lodging was excellent.

There were 3 Saturday walks to choose from varying in length from 7 to 13 miles. I led the 7 mile which left directly from the hotel. The route headed north along the Derwent Valley Heritage Way (DVHW) to Belper. In Belper we walked through the historical area built by Jedediah Strutt for his work force. After passing the mill buildings we crossed the river Derwent bridge taking in the views of the huge curved weir built to provide the head of water required to power the mills. Unfortunately the river side return path was closed for repair which required us to undertake some up hill road walking to reconnect with our planned route. Once there we were rewarded with a drinks break and glorious views of the river valley and Belper. Our walk then continued along an ancient bridleway before steeply descending to Millford and on to Makeney.

On the Sunday a 6 mile walk was enjoyed by the group. This also left directly from the hotel and headed south on the DVHW towards Little Eaton. The route then looped back and after a very steep climb joined the Midshires Way eventually reaching Holbrook. After passing through Holbrook we headed back to Makeney.

Sunday afternoon we visited Strutt’s North Mill in Belper which is a World Heritage Site and the world’s first cotton mill. We all enjoyed the entertaining and informative tour given by our excellent local guide.

A couple of bonus’s that added greatly to the weekend were one the excellent weather and two the nearby pub holding a beer festival. Many thank to Cindy for her perfect timing when booking this weekend. I would also like to thank fellow walk leaders Chris B and Ken B for planning and leading their walks plus Glenyss H and Dave R for organising the after dinner quizzes.

David H


Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 25th. February, 2017, at the Evangelical Baptist Church, Woodhouse Eaves, at 10.15 a.m.

Fifty-five members attended and there were 16 apologies.

1. Chairman Neil B welcomed members to the meeting and ran through the plans for the day. There would be two walks after lunch, one around five miles long, led by Brian R and a shorter one led by Rick S. Both walks would leave from the adjacent car park. He thanked the lady members for once again preparing the lunches and explained that this could be the last year they would do it and other arrangements would need to be considered in future.

He then welcomed the Speaker, Simon Bentley, Director of the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, who would be talking about the work of the Trust.

2. The Minutes of the 2016 Annual General Meeting have been sent to all members in the Annual Report. Ken B proposed their acceptance, seconded by Clive F and passed by the meeting.

3. Matters Arising Ken B had a proof copy of the new Round Booklet and told members that copies would shortly be on sale at a cost of £9.95 each. He was pleased to see that several walks had been arranged this year to include parts of the Round and thanked leaders for organising them.

The Committee had reviewed Bob S’s question raised at the 2016 AGM re the possibility of paying to replace stiles with gates, and it was reported that this was still under review by the Committee.

4. Acceptance of Officers’ Reports

The Chairman apologised for some confusion over the Anniversary of the Round. This was originally conceived as a project to celebrate the Centenary of the LFA in 1987. However, the Round itself was completed earlier in 1983. The new Booklet has been designed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Centenary.

Stan W gave additional information that owing to work on the East Midland Gateway at Castle Donnington, all footpaths will be closed for a period of around three years. Walkers should use the E.M. airport perimeter trail until the paths are reinstated. Members were advised to check the web-site for updates on the situation at Catthorpe.

Cindy W reported that volunteers were still needed to lead sections of the Round for the “Hound and Round” charity walk on May 15th.

Acceptance of the Officers’ reports was proposed by Tony W, seconded by David S and passed by the meeting.

5. Election of Officers

The current Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Membership Secretary, Diversion and Closures Secretary and Obstruction Secretary were all willing to stand again.

Chris M proposed, seconded by Margaret F, that these officers be re-elected. This was passed by the meeting.

6. Election of Committee Members

Current Committee members willing to stand again were: Jackie B, Ken B, Barbara C, Clive F, Angela H, Chris H and Rick S.

John T, seconded by Simon C, proposed that these Committee members be re-elected. This was passed by the meeting.

Roy D had been nominated as a Committee member by Stan W, seconded by Brian J. This was passed by the meeting.

Ken B who is our current Webmaster and Editor of the newsletters, wishes to relinquish these roles and is looking for a replacement.

7. Treasurers Report

Full details of the accounts were included in the Annual Report. The Treasurer expressed his thanks to Chris B for conducting the review of the accounts and proposed their acceptance. This was seconded by Rick S and passed by the meeting.

June B queried why we only donated £33.00 to the Woodland Trust. The Treasurer responded that this was a subscription and that, as a charity, we could only donate to charities which shared our aims and The Woodland Trust had different aims in addition to footpaths.

The Treasurer then proposed that subscriptions for 2018 remain at £5.00. This was seconded by Andy T and passed by the meeting. He also requested that we continue to pay our affiliation fees to the Ramblers, Open Spaces Society, Woodland Trust and Nottinghamshire Footpath Society. This was proposed by Ken B, seconded by Les P and passed by the meeting.

The Treasurer pointed out that the publication of the new Booklet would lead to a financial loss this year.

8. Amendment to the Constitution

The Treasurer explained that because our turnover is less than £25,000 p.a. the Charities Commission does not require us to have an annual audit. He therefore proposed that the whole of Section 8 in our current Constitution be altered as follows:

Current Wording

(A) The financial year of the association shall end on 31st. December each year.

(B) The Treasurer shall keep proper accounts received and paid on behalf of the Association.

(C) The Treasurer shall prepare accounts at the end of the financial year and submit them to an auditor.

(D) The audited accounts should be available for the Annual General Meeting.

(E) The Treasurer may bank/invest the monies of the Association as approved by the Committee.


(A) Remains unchanged

(B) The Treasurer shall keep detailed records of all receipts and payments which occur on behalf of the Association.

(C) The Treasurer may bank/invest the monies received on behalf of the Association, and may issue payments by means of cheques, countersigned by one of two signatories, as approved or instructed by the Committee.

(D) The Treasurer shall prepare a Financial Statement for the year to show summary totals for all income and expenditure headings, plus a Summary of Funds to show the opening and closing balances for the year for each of the Association’s bank accounts.

(E) The accounts and Financial Statement shall be subjected to an independent review by a suitably capable person, approved by the Committee, to confirm that the Financial Statement is a full and accurate presentation of the income and expenditure amounts for the summarised headings, and that the closing balances shown in the Summary of Funds agree with the bank balances as at the end of the financial year.

(F) The Financial Statement shall be incorporated into the Annual Report and thereby presented to the Annual General Meeting.

Stan W seconded this proposal which was passed by the meeting.

9. Any Other Business

Simon C, Obstructions Secretary asked that members give accurate grid references when reporting problems. Members were advised that when using smartphones it was possible to use the app ‘gridref’. Ken B will put information about this on the web-site and in the newsletter. Simon confirmed that he has a copy of the definitive map.

There being no further business, the Chairman then closed the business section of the meeting at 10.55a.m.

He then introduced our guest speaker, Simon Bentley, Director of Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust.

Simon spoke about the Trust’s role in protecting and enhancing wildlife and wild places and of increasing people’s engagement with, and enjoyment of, wildlife. The Trust has been going for sixty years and looks after 33 Reserves, 19 SSIs and 10 Ancient woods. They work with children of all ages and run training schemes for new Reserve Officers. On Rutland Water, which is now of worldwide importance for around 20,000 wildfowl of some 28 species, the Osprey project is one of their proudest achievements. 117 chicks have been fledged since 2001.

His talk was illustrated throughout with colourful slides of flora, fauna and different habitats such as quarries, wetlands and grasslands.

Brian J offered a vote of thanks and the proceedings finished at 11.55a.m.

Happy Birthday

February 26, 2018

It was leaked at the AGM that our retiring chairman has a birthday today. I’m sure all members of the Leicestershire Footpath Association would not want this event to pass unmarked.


Happy Birthday Neil - click for a larger view

Happy Birthday Neil – click for a larger view

Cafe Allez! at Belvoir Castle visitor car park

February 13, 2018

Another purveyor of refreshments inviting us to give them a try. Not suitable for a large group to descend and not an area likely to attract a large group walk from LFA but could be worth a try if you are out this way.



Hello Cindy,

We’re really pleased to announce that Cafe Allez! has launched a pop-up café service at the Belvoir Castle visitor car park, from Van Henri, our Citroen HY van.  This will run most weekends – and weekdays when the castle is open to the public – with kind permission from the Belvoir Castle team.

I think that we have the prime location in the Vale of Belvoir, with stunning views down into the Vale and great routes out to us.

We will serve barista coffees of the highest quality, along with teas, cakes, hot chocolates, and home-made flapjacks with no butter or sugar (subject to availability).

We accept all major credit cards, Apple Pay and iPay

We have plentiful seating available and there is access to the toilet block

As you’ll appreciate, we make each drink to order so whilst we’ll serve all as quickly as we can, there will be a wait if a large group arrives en masse!

Our schedule is published on our Facebook page and this is the place to check before travelling:

Hopefully see you soon – and spread the word!

Mark at bCafé Allez!
0778 685 4794

Rippin Memorial Path – plaque

February 8, 2018

Back in June 2017 we reported the sad new that the bronze plaque at the foot of the Rippin Memorial Path had been stolen see (Link to report) we can now announce that a modern plastic replacement has been installed, see picture below.

Rippin memorial path at Beacon Hill and the replacement plaque.

Rippin memorial path at Beacon Hill and the replacement plaque.


Our thanks to Clive and Leicestershire County County Council staff who have seen this project through to a satisfactory conclusion.

Detail of the revised inscription

Detail of the revised inscription

Footpaths signs

January 30, 2018

Not a Leicestershire sign but one made by the Royal Label Factory


From Graces Guide:

Royal Label Factory of Stratford upon Avon

1874 Established to make labels for Queen Victoria’s gardens at Sandringham.

Continued as part of the Ministry of Public Building and Works, supplying up to half of the signposts and fingerposts for counties and town councils in the 1930s

c.1963 The Royal Label Factory moved to Chipping Norton, where it provided a ‘Design & Build’ service for traffic signs and street furniture for construction companies all over the UK as well as for a large number of local authorities, including their core client, Oxfordshire County Council.

Now part of Leander Architectural

A walk from Stapleton

January 21, 2018

Calling All Ramblers! (starts a recently received email. No recommendation from LFA but Emilia and Jason are certainly offering a service we could use.)

The Nags Head Stapleton

The Nags Head Stapleton

Start your New Year’s walk from The Nags Head in Stapleton!

This is what we can offer you:

• Complementary tea and coffee at the start of your walk while you choose your lunch order
• Excellent lunch menu – from light bites to hearty home cooked meals
• Walker’s lunch-time special – 2 meals for only £12!
• Dog-friendly environment
• Big garden
• Generous parking
Ideal location to start walk in many directions, Market Bosworth, Sutton Cheney, Darlington and many more
Normal opening midday Tuesday – Sunday
Let us know when you’re coming – we will open for you!

Emilia & Jason

our full menu on website The Nags Head – menu page

Try this 6 mile walk (from webmaster)

A 6 mile walk from Stapleton near Barwell Leicestershire

A 6 mile walk from Stapleton near Barwell Leicestershire

AGM Saturday 24th February – new venue

January 7, 2018

The Elms Social Club Bushloe End, Wigston LE18 2BA

In a change to the printed walks programme the 2018 AGM will not again be at Woodhouse Eaves. The Baptist church has been a good venue for many years but the time has come to move on with an opportunity to take a different walk following the meeting.

Formal notice of the AGM with details of the venue will arrive to members by post but we offer this advance notice that the 2018 AGM will be at The Elms Social Club Bushloe End, Wigston LE18 2BA.


Footpath creation

December 18, 2017
Crich Footpath 42 at Whatstandwell station

Crich Footpath 42 at Whatstandwell station

From the minutes of the meeting of Crich Parish Council May 1895 ‘the acceptance of Revd Acraman’s offer of four feet of land across his field to provide a footpath to Whatstandwell Station and the best thanks of this Council.., to be given to Mr. Acraman for his generous gift to the Parish’.

As an ex parish council clerk I’m not surprised that the project was rather protracted, but they didn’t give up and today we can still use Crich footpath 42 from Crich Carr to Whatstandwell station. Read the full story at

Right to Roam – underground?

November 19, 2017

This one is new to me but looks like it has been doing a rounds for a while. It was in The Times today but as that’s not available online free here’s a bit from The Guardian 2016.

From The Sunday Times

From The Sunday Times

“Cavers fight to take the right to roam to new depths” Cavers are calling for the government to extend the rights that allow access to mountains, moors, heaths and downs to the subterranean systems that lie beneath some of Britain’s best-known landscapes. (read more)