Archive for the ‘Footpath News’ Category

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.

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