Author Archive

Summer evening walks

May 1, 2017
The old rail line at Leire

The old rail line at Leire

Monday evening walks start on Monday 8th May and continue until 7th August.  The start times are missing from the paper programme and this is 7.00pm.  Join us for an evening walk of 4 to 5 miles and an optional drink in a pub afterwards.

The first walk starts from Leire church members and visitors all welcome.


Newsletter Spring 2017

March 25, 2017


The spring 2017 newsletter should by now have dropped through members’ letterboxes. For other interested parties or  potential members we offer you the online edition, download here (pdf file 1.2Mb)



North West walks

March 8, 2017

An interesting day yesterday, walked 12 miles, used 5 buses and  sampled beer in the Old Sawley Brewery Tap. In detail…………..

East Midlands Airport perimeter trail

I dropped off the Notingham Skylink Express at Pegasus Park easily located  the Airport Trail and followed it clockwise. Although they claim to link up  the now mostly closed northern dead end paths the trail ignores the southern  links with a  fence preventing access to L45, L43 (plus Green Lane) and the  Diseworth road should anyone wish to use it. I’m not sure if the Trail is  intended for cycling but there was evidence of that use. There is a link to  L89 as this is a possible short cut.

Trail of Life by Zahir Shaikh - Concrete and Mosaic tiles

Trail of Life by Zahir Shaikh – Concrete and Mosaic tiles

The Aero Park looks more interesting from the Google satellite than on the  ground but then I have no interest in aircraft. The north end of  Diseworth  Road is where plane spotters settle and the path from here is well used and  rather muddy. There are some nice heath type bits from here on but I suspect  they may disappear. Good views north and the huge earth moving operation to  prepare for the Gateway.

East Midlands Gateway site preparations March 2017

East Midlands Gateway site preparations March 2017

There is no escape from the Trail across the A453 to the Kegworth road so I  had to complete the loop. They have dumped all the planings from the runway resurfacing around here, looks like another car park in the making. So instead of walking into Kegworth I got the Leicester Skylink, 2 miles but I had to wait 20 minutes I think it was just quicker by bus. A circular walk of just over 6 miles.

Start of the towpath walk Kegworth Bridge

Start of the towpath walk Kegworth Bridge

The river towpath north of Kegworth bridge was also new to me. I’ve used L63 a few times and boated along the river but never used the towpath which is free of obstructions with a bridge by the lock and stiles along the way. The towpath is often very close to the RoW but with a stream between them there is no linkage along the way.

The link between FP L63 and the riverside towpath

The link between FP L63 and the riverside towpath

L63 crosses a footbridge at SK491286 to meet the towpath and they become one. On the south side of the A453 there is a good link to a path alongside the A453 going west to Long Lane and east over the canal before passing under the road to link with L62 BW. However this is a dead end at a ford.

What we do not have and you might question whether we need it is a link on the north side between L63 the towpath and BW L101. On the ground it is apparent that folk do want this link because a narrow and difficult path has been created and is well used.

Missing link L101 to L63

Missing link L101 to L63

I’m not clear where L101 goes as the only official route is a path on the north side of the A453 heading towards Nottingham but I saw no path dropping down to link with BW L62. If we used the towpath or L63 from Kegworth and wanted a through route to the north then this small link would be useful avoiding a double back along L61 or L61A.

I didn’t travel further along L63, beyond the A453, here it is effectively the towpath through to the Trent. I’m not sure how useful it would be but we appear to have lost a link with Notts for L84, old maps show a bridge here and later maps show a possible bridge just downstream. Since the levels were altered to prevent flooding there is no bridge so no link with Notts.

More devastation hedge pyres prepare the way for gravel extraction

More devastation hedge pyres prepare the way for gravel extraction

I followed the minor road to Sawley Marina. It’s all a bit depressing with hedges and trees being ripped out for the Gateway and here for gravel extraction. So it was good that I arrived at the marina having just missed a Nottingham Skylink which prompted me to walk into Old Sawley just in time I spotted the Brewery Tap and caught a much later bus. Another 6 miles this time linear.

Annual report 2016

March 5, 2017

The annual report for 2016 was posted to members and agreed by them at the AGM in February 2017. A full copy is  available here to download (pdf fil 425Kb).

Presidents Remarks

A good barometer in measuring the strength of any Association, is the number of members on their register. When I became involved with our Association in 1976 there were 92 ordinary members. This year there were 340 ordinary members. This growth can in part be explained by walks being arranged on four days a week whereas in 1976 only Saturday walks were available and some evening walks in the summer. In addition the number of people walking are mainly retired. The Association always relies on members volunteering to take part in the affairs of the Association. If you consider you may be able to help in this way, please contact our secretary.

I have attended three committee meetings and listened to the amount of work undertaken on behalf of our membership. In the following reports from officers you will be able to judge for yourself the variety of matters taken in hand. In particular the County Council have agreed for us to produce and distribute the new publication of the Leicestershire Round guide booklet.

Brexit, the most repeated word in the media this year, may have significant impact on monies available in future years for the maintenance of cross field paths. The Common Agricultural Policy has a payment scheme to reward farmers when they keep their paths open and accessible to the public. We may well ask will the UK government fund a similar scheme for farmers, thereby ensuring our cross field paths are kept clear of crop encroachment, following any exit from Europe?

Many of you will, I am sure agree, the National Forest has had a major impact on the scenery of North West Leicestershire. The scars left by mining have been transformed into woodland areas to walk and explore. This year celebrates twenty-five years following the governments support for its creation. 8.5 million trees have been planted.

In September, Ted Guy passed away. Ted was a committee member for a few years, 1985-87 and walked regularly on Saturdays. Some of you may recall his New Year day walks when before the start of the walk, members were treated to home cooked mince pies and mulled wine.

Brian Jenkinson

LFA President

1904 Map

February 27, 2017

A reprint of the LFA’s 1904 map is now available for viewing online.

charnwood-forest-map-small“In 1895 the committee were instructed to consider the possibility of publishing a map of footpaths within a radius of eight miles of Leicester. This resulted in the issue of our footpath map in 1904 (link to map page), which has been instrumental of keeping open many paths which otherwise would have been lost. The work in carrying out this was immense, and the care taken such that there have since been very few disputes about the maps marked.
The public owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. A. J. Gimson, Mr. C. H. Green and Mr. Berry, especially in this connection, and few will realise the enormous amount of labour this map entailed.”

From: A short History of the Leicestershire Footpath Association by Harry H. Peach – A paper prepared for the Countryside and Footpaths Preservation National Conference, Leicester, October 13th 1928. (read more)

General George Augustus

February 12, 2017


A popular pub with members of the Leicestershire Footpath Association is the General Elliott at Willoughby Waterleys. There are some good walks in the area and the Leicestershire Round passes through the village. Who was this General Elliott and why does he have a pub named after him?

There are numerous pubs named the Marquis of Granby (the title used by the eldest son of the Dukes of Rutland). It is said that some time back because a Marquis gave a helping hand to men from his regiment to set up a public house, in appreciation they named the house after the benefactor.

A similar story may have been lost to explain General Elliott because there are again many pubs across the country with the name but also what isn’t explained is why most pubs are General Elliott when the family named is spelt Eliott?

Wikipedia is clear “George Augustus Eliott, 1st Baron Heathfield”

The National Portrait Gallery  says “George Augustus Eliott, 1st Baron Heathfield  (1717-1790), General; defender of Gibraltar Sitter in 14 portraits.
The army officer George Eliott served with distinction during the Seven Years War. He fought in a series of battles in Germany between 1759 and 1761 before participating in the capture of Havana, Cuba in 1762. Eliott later served as the Governor of Gibraltar and was renowned for withstanding a sustained assault by French and Spanish forces during the Siege of Gibraltar from 1779 to 1783.

Can anyone offer an explanation?

Leicestershire Map of paths has moved

February 3, 2017

We have been warned for a while that the County Council website was changing. The map of footpaths and bridleways has now moved. Links on this website have been updated. If you have the page saved as a favourite do an update now.

New site for Leicestershire County Council map of paths

I don’t like to report this but the Derbyshire County Council map of paths is better see:

Derbyshire Map of Paths the online map is good but the Def. Map has errors take care.

Staffordshire is also quite good

Staffordshire Map of paths takes a bit of practice to find your way around

Nottinghamshire does not have online mapping.

For what is available across the country see:

Walking Weekend Friday October 27th to 29th 2017

January 31, 2017

LFA Walking Weekend Friday October 27th To Sunday October 29th 2017

Venue: Makeney Hall Hotel, Nr Belper Derbyshire


Cost approx £55 per night per person Dinner Bed and Breakfast. This is dependent on numbers. Limited single accommodation available at a supplement of £5 per person per night.

A variety of walks to be arranged for Saturday and Sunday morning.

Non refundable deposit of £20 per person required.

Names needed by March 10th 2017.

Contact Cindy West for further details and to express an interest.

Email : Tel 0116 2234851 or mobile 07711729830

Names needed by March 10th .2017

Take extra care at Gumley

January 20, 2017

A recent path report submitted to LCC by a member has resulted in action but in the mean time please take extra care using footpath A11 to the east side of Gumley Wood.

We reported “trip hazards on footpath A11 at SP683904.  The path has recently been fenced along the field edge and some sapling trees cut down, but the stumps are protruding some 3-6 inches above the ground, but are not clearly visible, causing a dangerous source of tripping.  One of our ladies tripped on one such stump on Wednesday and took a nasty fall (nothing broken fortunately).  They need to be dug out or cut to ground level before someone suffers serious injury.

LCC have responded. “I have to speak to the mapping office the has been unofficially diverted and enclosed by the erection of the fence. The stumps are difficult to see with the leaves on the ground and are a trip hazard. Can I ask that you make your members aware of this until we can resolve this issue.

I have served notice on the landowner to remove the obstructions as the footpath does not follow the fence line of the wooded area. It may take some time to get this resolved but I am not happy with what they have done the ground is narrow and sloping and when wet and muddy is very slippery in places.

I will let you know when this has been opened up on its Definitive Line.”

Rhubarb Island – Melton Mowbray

December 30, 2016

When I started exploring paths around Melton Mowbray I well remember that approaching Eye Kettleby Mill on footpath E13 we had to hang onto the railway boundary fence while using a narrow path alongside the River Wreake. This was because a bridge was missing to take the path onto Rhubarb Island between the natural course of the river and the old lock cut.

I was walking down there only recently while exploring the ORPA across Sysonby Grange and noted that the bridge is looking to be in need and repainting. Had I discovered this and others pictures before my visit I could have sought the plaque that appears in another picture and then perhaps, if it hasn’t been vandalised, have told you the date.

This picture shows the late Duke of Rutland and a man with a Chain of Office plus others having their picture taken at the official opening.

Rhubarb Island bridge - Melton Mowbray

Rhubarb Island bridge – Melton Mowbray