Archive for the ‘Footpath News’ Category

Members’ Subscriptions

February 26, 2019

Members 2019 subs are due to be paid by 28 February. If you haven’t paid and still wish to be a member could you please send your £5 Member Subscription to Membership Secretary, Mrs L King, 19 Fielding Lane, Ratby LE6 0AS as soon as possible. Thank you.


Huncote Parish Council

January 31, 2019

Huncote Parish Council have a page on their website with details and descriptions of walks from the village. Links to a great selection of resources when planning a walk, provided by Steve Crane. see

Red Lion Huncote

image © Copyright Mat Fascione and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Other Routes with Public Access

May 6, 2018

The above is from the Ordnance Survey legend.

Stile at SK 72464 18386 on the Asfordby parish boundary boosted confidence.

Stile at SK 72464 18386 on the Asfordby parish boundary boosted confidence.

On Saturday 28th April just after a lunch stop at Kirby Bellars church a party of seven LFA members set out along the old highway across the fields to Sysonby Grange and Sysonby. Having reached the south end of the dead end byway H32 from Asfordby Valley we had to find a way into the cropped field around SK 72139 18106 (“The gate at the Kirby end (with the new post in the middle of it) of course isn’t on the line.” LCC Officer). The party were apprehensive pushing through the crop of foot tall wheat across this large field but a stile at SK 72464 18386 on the Asfordby parish boundary boosted confidence.

The next field edge route is illegally ploughed regardless of this being road, bridleway or footpath but the narrow field margin did offer easier walking. Just before reaching SK 72795 18561 a significant flow of water crosses the route perhaps from a spring in the field.

From the corner of the wood the old field boundary is no longer in place so we set off again through the crop of wheat heading to the left of the piles of compost on the old Sysonby Grange Farm site. If the landowner does have a preferred route it is to the left of the site because a ‘Private Land No Public Right of Way’ sign is at the entrance SK 73242 18781. This again offered some assurance however, as the route agreed with LCC crosses the ‘Private Land’ it is also an illegal notice.

From here we followed a faint track to a ford where a sleeper bridge offered an alternative crossing of the swollen stream. By now we could see the familiar yellow topped post at SK 73475 18724 in the hedge which offered the party assurance that their leader had not led them astray.

The cleared route (“I’m not sure why this slipped but the clearance at the Sysonby end has now been done.  It’s just sufficient for walkers to get through as an interim measure.  This is on STWater’s land.” LCC Officer) was initially good having only very recently been carried out, but the steep bank was slippery and a challenge for some in the party. Another yellow topped post at SK 73525 18741 is helpful for walkers from the Sysonby end.

My thanks to LCC for the limited progress made which allowed us to walk the route but there is still much to do to promote the route initially for walking. We need more yellow topped posts. The route needs to be apparent on the ground, headland paths left uncultivated and cross field section marked out in line with HA sec.134. Access is required along the correct line at Kirby Bellars and more work is needed on the STW land at Sysonby.

The route shown by the green dots the red line is the route our party followed.

The route shown by the green dots the red line is the route our party followed. (Click on the picture for a larger image)

So why should this work be carried out? LCC has acknowledged that the red or green dots representing ‘Other Route with Public Access’ shown on the Ordnance Survey map is correct with the caveat that the status is unknown. However LCC has also acknowledged that as a minimum the route has a right for those on foot.

Without this highway the Byway from Asfordby Valley and footpath H31 are dead ends.

The route is clearly shown as a physical feature on old Ordnance Survey maps and using the fade feature on the National Library of Scotland site we can trace the route onto modern day Google satellite, see below.

The route is identified on the LCC list of street. Not an easy search but the results below show the complete route as “Publicly Maintained (Adopted)”.

The key states “Publicly Maintained (Adopted) – A publicly maintained highway not recorded on the Definitive Map of Public Rights of Way. These are maintained at a standard commensurate with use by Leicestershire County Council at public expense.”

LCC’s past failure in their duty to Protect and Assert the public right, section 130 of the Highway Act 1980, discourages use so reducing any need to maintain.

Click on the pictures for a larger image.

Left.. Approaching Sysonby Grange Farm site looking west from SK 73155 18759.

Right… Approaching the new yellow topped post at SK 73475 18724 which marks the cleared route through the STW land.


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)

Out of area

June 23, 2017

An out of area story but one worth telling to encourage the reporting of problems even if you are not planning to return to the area. In 2010-11 I did a long walk from Chepstow to Berwick upon Tweed ‘The Great English Walk’. I encountered a few issues along the way so took time afterward each days walking to report these. I never expected to get back to see if improvements had been made but hoped my effort would benefit those who later used the same paths.

Biddulph FP 77 bridge installed 2011

Biddulph FP 77 bridge installed 2011

In Staffordshire I used an unsigned path at Biddulph which crossed a stream. I reported the missing signs and bridge. In a letter of February 2011 Staffordshire County Council said, ” Public Footpath No. 77 Biddulph Town…..The path has been inspected and a job sheet has been issued for two new fingerposts, path clearance work and the installation  of a new 12 ft sleeper bridge.”  In October 2011 I received a follow up letter. “I am pleased to inform you that the earlier problem you reported concerning the above public right of way has now been resolved; the path has been cleared, two new fingerposts and a new 12 ft bridge has been installed.”

On Saturday 17th June 2017 I had the first opportunity to use the path again. I was delighted to find the path, easy to find, well walked and the stream safe to cross on the substantial bridge.

Good news for walkers at Great Glen

May 7, 2017

Footpath C28 which goes south from  the Pug and Greyhound pub at Great Glen was for many years an impenetrable jungle of  briars and brambles.  When I retired I felt it my duty to clear a way  through it to cross the bypass and to reach the canal.   In the summer of  2016 I took my shears each evening and cut a way through the brambles.   On  one occasion I met a young man in shorts battling his way from the bypass as  I was cutting my way up towards him.  He greeted me with joy to see some  clear route ahead and some respite for his cut legs!  I felt my labours were  rewarded.

Footpath C28 at Great Glen

Footpath C28 at Great Glen

Professional help

Professional help

My path was only a narrow muddy single track through dark overhanging  brambles.  I later got some help in widening it  and then talked to  Great  Glen Wildspace group about the importance of having paths which connected  park areas with the footpath network  and they found volunteers to widen and  clear the footpath (for the benefit of birds and wildlife).  It is now a delightful route to add to your repertoire.

Footpath cleared by Wildspace team. Looking towards the bypass.

Footpath cleared by Wildspace team. Looking towards the bypass.

Heather MacD

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.

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.”

Help needed at Wykin Hinckley

October 14, 2016

Footpath U4 at Wykin is under threat. The path ends on what was a farm road, this has become the drive to a private house and the landowner is unwilling to acknowledge a public right to use the drive which is essential to reach Higham Lane. The Hinckley Ramblers will be collecting evidence of use so if you have or do use this path please Email: Roy Shakespeare who is collecting evidence for submitting a claim.