Archive for the ‘Footpath News’ Category

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.

wykin-u4

Bardon Quarry Extension

August 16, 2016

The latest Bardon Quarry extension path order was confirmed on 5th August 2016, and the map below shows, what we believe, to be the current situation regarding rights of way in the immediate vicinity of the quarry.

Green should be usable, red either temporarily or permanently stopped up. Blue is the temporary route of the Ivanhoe Way. Purple (now we are taxing my colour recognition) shows unaffected paths.

We think this shows the maximum disruption, and further changes will be positive. Unfortunately we were unable to obtain a safe route to Copt Oak in spite of our best efforts.

Bardon Quarry path changes

Bardon Quarry path changes

It would be nice to hope that a map could be placed  at strategic points in the area.

Problem solved

August 5, 2016

It was a surprise the other morning to receive an email from our website ‘Path defect’ contact form. You will know it’s there because you take a regular look at ‘Members and Leaders have you checked here recently?‘ From that page and now from the ‘Contact Us’ page there is a link to Report a path defect.

I’m delighted to report that Stan and I resolved the problem initially without moving from the office desk, it went like this.

Report: The path at Saddington appears to go through a private residence and whoever is in charge there is not happy with people walking through. For the only time in walking the round I was told to turn around and go back to the road.

Stan replied:

Thank you for reporting the problem you encountered on the Leicestershire Round at Saddington.

However, we are puzzled as to its location, as the route has been recently checked, both by the section warden, and the officer responsible for preparing a new edition of the guide, and no problems have been encountered.

The Round enters Saddington from Fleckney down a clearly defined lane (Bakehouse Lane), and, having crossed Main Street, leaves via an enclosed path towards Smeeton Gorse and Gumley, so we are not aware of anywhere that it crosses a private property in the way you describe.

I am afraid we do need more precise details of where you were turned back before we can take this issue further.

A picture was supplied:

 

Leicestershire Round - Saddington

Leicestershire Round – Saddington

Stan to Ken: This looks like the track from Fleckney Road to me – do you agree?

Ken to Stan: Yes I agree.  I appear to have missed a point that he was walking the Round in reverse so perhaps he missed the stile onto the narrow track and continued along this well defined drive / farm track which does enter private property. As I walked it in the normal direction I don’t know if the stile is obvious, the picture suggests it may not be.

The light dawns:

To be honest I didn’t even know I was doing it in reverse!

Yes, that would certainly make sense. As you can see from pic very easy to think that road is the right of way. And I would recommend another sign. The two chaps in the yard were not exactly friendly and best avoided!

Thanks for your and Ken’s time and assistance.

Looks as if we have a satisfied customer.

Canal Access Points Project

June 5, 2016

The Canals and Rivers Trust have on-line mapping of the waterways network, and are encouraging canal users to add useful facilities to the map.

As well as asking boaters to map mooring points, pump-out facilities etc, they are encouraging walkers to show access points to the towpath – it is not always certain that the towpath can be accessed from a road or path crossing it.

I have volunteered getting this information on to the map for Leicestershire, and am seeking assistance to complete this exercise – no time limit, but it sounds like an excuse for some gentle summer strolls, or as part of a circular group walk.

I have almost completed the canal within Leicester City, and have volunteers already to continue southwards to Market Harborough, and to cover the Grantham Canal. The routes left are therefore :

  • Soar Navigation from Birstall northwards to the River Trent
  • Grand Union Canal southwards from the foot of Foxton Locks to the County Boundary neat Welford (plus the Welford Arm)
  • Ashby Canal from The Limekilns Near Burbage to the end north of Snarestone Tunnel

Please get in touch if you would like to check any length of the above waterways, however short, and I will supply a skeleton spreadsheet for you to complete and a map of the length of canal.

I have identified potential access points, and would like to know whether the access is level, via a slope, or via steps, or whether there is in fact no access at this point – the CRT will explore the possibility of remedying this if it would be useful for walkers. If you find any more access points which look well-used, please feel free to add them to the list.

Regards Stan Warren
Email: sjwarren01@outlook.com

Water-hazard planked but!!

May 12, 2016

On a nice afternoon, I decided to inspect a new foot plank which has dealt with a recurrent problem of stepping off the stile into water which goes over the top of your boots.  This problem had been on the Leicestershire Round between Leire and Frolesworth on footpath W70.

New foot plank erected by LCC

New foot plank erected by LCC

The above photograph shows the plank in position.  You will notice from the next two photographs a field of oil seed rape is gradually encroaching onto the footpath making it difficult for walkers to pass along the footpath.  The first photograph below illustrates the footpath when walking from Frolesworth towards Leire. You can just see Leire Church just to the left of the footpath waymark post. The next photograph was taken walking westwards from Leire and a tractor has been driven along the correct line of the footpath BUT no proper width has been left for walkers.  As you emerge onto the Leire to Frolesworth Road the footpath sign post is missing but was found lying down in the road side hedge covered by foliage.  The missing way marker post has already been reported to LCC. and the encroaching rape crop will be reported.

 

Looking towards Leire.

Looking towards Leire.

Looking westwards from Leire

Looking westwards from Leire

 

 

New footbridge and hand gates at Baggrave

April 19, 2016

Members may be interested to learn of an improvement on the footpath from Baggrave to Lowesby. The picture below was taken by Heather’s daughter on our walk yesterday.  The crossing point between Carr bridge and the water gardens footpath used to be difficult.  These improvements are most welcome.Baggrave to Lowesby footpath

 

Tragedy on a bridleway in Northumberland

April 15, 2016

I read in the Daily Mail today, details of yet another death caused by cows with calves. It is essential for all walk leaders to be particularly aware of the threat by cattle to human life, when walking in the countryside. These are the brief details:-
On the 3rd April, 2016 Marion Clode aged 61 yrs was walking with her husband, daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren on a bridleway. Twenty cows with calves were being turned out from the farm into a field. Mrs Clode was leading and the cattle were running towards her. Mrs Clode was butted by a cow before catapulting her into the air over a gate. She died two days later in hospital from injuries sustained.
All walkers are reminded to exercise due diligence when walking in the countryside.
President of LFA

Cattle and rights of way

April 9, 2016

Mischievous cows at SwarkestoneThe last year has seen a number of developments in respect of cattle and public rights of way.

Bill Wiggin MP introduced a Ten Minute Rule Bill in Parliament. Entitled the Agricultural Accidents (Records) Bill, it would have required the HSE to record a lot more information about accidents involving cattle. The Bill made no progress (as is usually the case with Ten Minute Rule Bills), but it did serve to highlight the fact that when HSE Inspectors investigated incidents involving cattle and the public, inadequate information was being recorded. The Ramblers Association briefed Mr Wiggin prior to the debate on the Bill. As a result of the debate, and subsequent discussions with HSE, Inspectors are now instructed to gather more information. This new advice is on the HSE website here:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/internalops/og/og-00058.htm

Last year also saw the trial of a farmer charged with gross negligence manslaughter, following the death of a walker. It was alleged that he was killed by a Swiss Brown bull, a breed of dairy bull not proscribed under s.59 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. In the event he was found not guilty. This tragic incident raised the question of whether the list of dairy bulls proscribed under the 1981 Act was in need to review. The RA subsequently met with officers of the NFU to discuss the case, and sent a joint letter with them to the HSE to try and found out more about their new data collection regime. This is turn led to an invitation from HSE to the Ramblers and NFU to discuss the issue.

At that meeting it was explained that the HSE only gets involved in cases involving the public if an incident involves a “reportable injury”. A reportable injury is one where the injured party gets taken directly to hospital for treatment for that injury. Because they don’t necessarily get to hear about all incidents, they would welcome reports from the public, so they are happy for us to encourage the public report incidents. There is however a big proviso attached to this: they can’t follow-up all of these cases (particularly if a person has just been chased or frightened), but this may be because there simply isn’t enough information about the actual place where the incident took place. It can be the case that where someone has merely been chased or frightened then the farmer in question will not know that an incident has taken place. Because the number of incidents which get reported directly to HSE is so small, the data is of very little statistical value.

IMG_3924

The HSE officers took the view that bulls are not the main issue. Examination of their reports shows that most incidents seem to involve two people and a dog in a field with cows and calves. Almost no incidents involve a group of people (good news for our group walks), but most people involved seem to be over 55. Cattle also seem to dislike high-viz jackets!

They discussed the responsibilities of path users and of farmers. Walkers do need to be aware. You wouldn’t step out on to a road without looking to see if there were any cars coming even though you have every right to be crossing the road. In a similar way, when entering a field you should look around and assess the situation regarding livestock. However farmers are running businesses and need to have done risk assessments—this is key—and to take sensible measures such siting feeders and drinkers away from stiles where possible, considering electric fencing and providing good signage.

The RA are also aware of, and are awaiting more news about, a pilot project in Cornwall at which the possibility of providing permissive alternative paths (avoiding fields with cattle and calves) is being looked at. The definitive right of way would still be available, but there would be another route for anyone who did not wish to use it.

You can read Ramblers policy on this issue here:

http://www.ramblers.org.uk/policy/england/rights-of-way/rights-of-way-and-cattle.aspx

Please do let us know about any incidents involving the public and cattle on rights of way, or on access land. It is very important that we have an accurate picture of what is happening.