Members should now have received through their letter box a paper copy of the winter 2016-17 walks programme and a newsletter. Potential members and interested parties are invited to freely read the 2016 autumn newsletter here (.pdf file 610MB). The Walks programme (opens a new page) is available online. None members are invited to join us for a few trail walks before we ask for your annual subscription of just £5.00.
Archive for the ‘Newsletters’ Category
I thought you might like to see the above in colour. The next order of shirts will have the new logo which no longer incorporates Rutland as it has reverted to a ‘stand alone’ county.
Photos Allen Donkin
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A paper copy of the spring newsletter (500kb .pdf file) along with the summer programme will shortly be dropping through your letter box but here on the web you can have a sneak preview and don’t forget the walks calendar is already here. Click on the links to read on.
We are all now anticipating Spring and as ever, hoping for a good Summer. Mud will just be a bad memory—–oh yes it will. After winter hibernation, white legs will start to appear from under shorts. As I write this the snow is falling!
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In last autumn’s newsletter Neil explained the plans of Network Rail to reduce the number of level crossing. This remains an issue and we understand that Network Rail has unilaterally closed a footpath A117 at Little Bowden at SP742866 after LCC refused their requests for a temporary closure. Better news at Brooksby where H56 has been
diverted to take walkers over the light controlled road crossing just a few metres away. The new path is of a high standard, see picture right.
From our Chairman – Neil B
First just a brief reminder that we are halfway through the walking year and are still looking for volunteers for the roles of Secretary and a Diversions Secretary. Where are you?
We welcome and thank a new volunteer as Minutes Secretary – Jackie B. We must thank Jennifer Macg for the many years she admirably filled that role.
Am I a cynic or has Global Warming and Climate Change passed us by in Leicestershire? We had a very good April weather-wise but the media hyped 3 months of hot summer weather didn’t materialise. It turned out much
as usual – mixed. It was quite dry so it was good for we walkers.
I got my first muddy boots on September 1st. On the Tuesday walks Martin and Lynn are hoping they will soon be able to pass on the Mud Trophy as they have held it since 25th November 2014.
To new and old members, enjoy your winter walks and the camaraderie of the L.F.A.
Good news at Ratcliffe College
The Leicestershire Round at Ratcliffe College has been a bit messy for some years so we are delighted that the issues have been resolved and our warden has been able to waymark the route making clear where the path now leaves the track and heads off across the sports field towards the A46 Fosse Way.
Footpaths at Elmesthorpe
At the last committee meeting it was good to hear Roger C propose action on path U50 at Elmesthorpe south of Earl Shilton. A report from LCC offers a summary:-
Currently no route is available on the ground for the public to follow as this path has a long story of obstruction.
During the mid 1930s the Land Settlement Association purchased a large area of land and developed plots on it for “Homes fit For Heroes” (veterans of the First World War).
At this time they blocked off the footpath with various boundaries and the paths fell out of use. However it was realised that this was not acceptable and so in 1936 the Land Settlement Association applied for a diversion order to have
the footpath re-routed to avoid the obstructions. Unfortunately this order was never completed and the right of way
never formally diverted or even an alternative route provided. Then the Second World War came along and matters were forgotten about until 1950/51 when under national legislation Parish Councils were asked to survey the footpaths in their areas and submit plans and statements to the County Council for inclusion in the first Definitive Map.
Faced with a mess on the ground the Parish Council had no alternative other than to claim the pre First World War paths even though they were no longer available. The Parish Council made reference to the proposed diversion of 1936 in its submission but because the order had not been made or completed (Indeed now no trace of the draft order can be found) the County Council could not take any account of it when drawing up the Definitive Map.
From the 1950s to around 2000, members of the public made their best way through the area but never on the definitive line because it wasn’t available. In 2000 the County Council received complaints about the state of the path and since then it has been trying to come up with a solution. Enforcement action though an option, seems impractical given the fact that the footpath has been unavailable now since the 1930s and sadly even more physical obstacles have developed over the intervening years including lakes.
The difficulty the County Council has had is that whatever solution has been proposed one faction or other of the local community and landowners has vehemently objected and we are now looking at our 5th proposal (8th Plan) since 2000. I’m still plugging away at this case in the background but I regret there is going to be no quick solution. I’m sorry to report this is the current situation. The County Council takes seriously its duty to assert and protect the publics’ right to the use and enjoyment of public rights of way but this case has sadly proved to be one of the most obstinate ones to resolve.
(Ed’s note) There is a route through the area that people on occasion still use. Take Bridleway U52 (Bridle Path Road) for around 350 metres then turn left into Billington Road East (not a public right of way). From this track we have, in the past, been able to access a version of the southern section of the path. Talk to Roger to help push the matter forward.
Walk Leaders please note.
If you are leading a walk for LFA you should be aware of our ‘Check List and Information for Leaders’ it’s on the website, please download a copy and read it. Many of our walks have large numbers where the leader will lose sight of
the rear so it is essential that a back marker be appointed. Preferably someone who knows the route but if not the leader should appoint someone on the day. It might also be helpful for leader and back-marker
to exchange mobile numbers in case of an incident occurring.
LFA Needs YOU to Volunteer
It’s the job of a newsletter to be positive about the organisation it represents but at times the editor finds this a challenge. Looking back at the Spring edition I’m reminded of the requests for members to lend a hand with little walking related tasks. While the usual stalwarts have offered to help if they can fit more hours into their already overloaded diary, we still have some jobs that need YOU to volunteer:-
● General Secretary
● Diversions Secretary
● Committee members
Unless a new secretary can be found and new committee members, the future of the Association will be placed in jeopardy.
We have become aware of short sections of the Round that are not on the Definitive Map. This has the potential for these short paths to be reclaimed back into private hands and walkers barred from using the path. We ask you please to contact the secretary if you have walked the whole route of the Round at any time and in particular sections at Thorpe Langton, Thorpe Satchville and Leire.
You should now be aware that as part of the extra access we were granted under the Right to Roam legislation landowners were promised an end date after which historical evidence could not be used to claim a path across their land. This has created a huge task, much larger than anyone expected, to trawl through old records searching for paths that were missed off the original drawing up of the Definitive Map back in the early 1950s. Leicestershire has potentially 1,500 or more unrecorded paths which will be lost after the cut off date of 2026. If you have an interest in walking footpaths but perhaps can no longer get out in the fields and would like to spend time in a warm dry office, then we need YOU to volunteer to spend a few hours in the Records Office at Wigston.
Newsletter compiled for LFA by Ken B
Visit our website at:- https://leicestershirefootpaths.wordpress.com/
LEICESTERSHIRE FOOTPATH ASSOCIATION
Newsletter Spring 2015
32 Short Walks using part of the Leicestershire Round
Ever fancied walking the Round but didn’t want to plod the whole 100 miles? 32 short walks might be your salvation. The book was produced for the millennium and is now out of print but you can still access the walks from our website.
The map shows the location of the walks and as you will see there are some gaps so even if you did the 32 short walks you would not have walked the whole Round. We would like your help to fill the gaps. We can either offer a route for you to follow and write up or you might like to devise your own. Volunteers please contact Ken at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01949 843572.
Peak District on Google Street View It is now possible to enjoy North Lees and the Tissington, Monsal and High Peak trails from the comfort of your own home. Filming over the summer by national park volunteers with the Google Trekker camera has gone live online. The volunteers captured 360° images of various Peak locations, making it the first national park to be ‘virtually accessible’.
To see the virtual trails using your computer, tablet or browser, go to http://maps.google.co.uk, search for a location such as Monsal Trail and click either the ‘Street view’ or the ‘yellow man’ icon.
Walk Leaders Maps
In February the committee was asked to comment on the copyright issues regarding Ordnance Survey maps. One LFA group like to issue a map of the walk route to all participants, a custom that originated as a navigation training exercise. Some of the reasons put forward for copy maps was to avoid spoiling paper maps in foul weather (a map case will assist here) and the need to fold or use two maps where a walk is on the edge of a map. This latter issue is resolved by printing seamless digital maps from on line sources.
Our understanding is that OS will permit a copy being made for personal use. It was reported that a copy shop had refused to make more than one copy from a paper map but an update on this confirmed that they no longer impose any restriction. It was also reported that subscribers to OS getamap have a print option of multiple copies.
As a responsible organisation we wish to support walk leaders to ensure that the route they plan uses only the correct definitive or permissive paths and as such in the past we have kept paper maps up to date with path changes and offered these maps for inspection to leaders. This option is still available but other online opportunities are perhaps now more convenient.
Leicestershire County Council paths online not the Definitive Map but it should offer up to date information to show any major changes to the network and path numbers for easy identification see:
Streetmap: Offers you the opportunity to print off a limited portion of OS map at 1:50,000 and 1:25,000. I have been unable to discover a way to overlay a walk route onto the map other than with a pen onto the paper copy see:
Bing Maps: Offers an opportunity to upload routes or create a route as a layer on to OS at 1:50,000 and 1:25,000. If you subscribe (free) you can save routes and email them to friends. While they can be viewed on screen over OS mapping you can’t print the route with OS as the basemap see:
OS getamap: You can subscribe (from £17.95 / year) or register for free (limited accessibility). I registered and was able to create or upload routes which were displayed on OS 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 but I couldn’t print them. See:
Viewranger: This has a lot of walks on offer but they can only be downloaded to an app on your phone. Tell me more if I’m wrong. See:
Memory Map: This offers software and mapping loaded on your own computer so no need to be online to use it. It allows creation of routes or tracks to be saved on your own computer or shared with others. Prices have fallen and you can now get OS 1:50,000 for the whole country at £100 and 1:25,000 again whole country at £300. You can also get limited coverage (25,000sqkm) from £25. See:
Leicestershire County Council owned farms.
Leicestershire Local Access Forum (LLAF) created a sub group to investigate the opportunities to create new Public Rights of Way to improve the existing network. The sub group examined plans of farmland due for tenancy renewal and formulated recommendations to discuss with the County Council Operational Real Estate Manager. The outcome of these discussions included joint investigation into a route suitable for people with disabilities and families with pushchairs at Quorn.
Plans where tenancies are due to end in 2015 include farmland at Mowsely, Broughton Astley and Husbands Bosworth. The subgroup recommended a PRoW on the land at Mowsely, but felt there were no opportunities of enhancing the PRoW network on the other farmland.
At Hall Farm Blaby with the planning permission rejected it was felt that it was an ideal time to re-examine the holding and to identify a suitable PRoW. The subgroup has recommended a number of PRoWs on this land which includes dedication of the permissive path.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced in the Autumn Statement on 3 December 2014 that additional funding would be made available to complete the English Coastal Path by 2020. On the following day the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg issued a press release on the funding for 2014/15 and 2015/16. A copy of the press release is available at:-
New coastal access rights enabling people to enjoy 36km of coastline between Allonby and Whitehaven came into force in April 2014. In Norfolk a new right of coastal access was opened between Sea Palling and Weybourne in December 2014. The whole coastal path when completed will be just under 3,000 miles and be no more than 75 miles from anyone. I’m not sure what happens at the border with Wales and Scotland but it sounds a great project and potentially opens up stretches of coastline that have been inaccessible.
I mentioned The Cross Britain Way briefly in the last issue. I now have the guide and offer more information. This 280 mile walk starts at Boston Lincolnshire and ends at Barmouth on the Welsh coast. Why Boston, why Lincolnshire? These were my immediate questions and the answer is simple, this is part of the growing Macmillan stable of walks and links with their original route from the south coast.
The guide at 144 pages has descriptive text of the route, separated from background information for places of interest along the way. There are also hand drawn maps which were easy to translate onto Ordnance Survey. Flicking through the book with it’s abundant small photographs it soon had me wanting to pull on my boots and make a start. See the Macmillan Way Association website and click on publications, down this page you will find the guide available at £11.99 + £1.50 postage.
I’m pleased to see that a new route has been found to exit Boston rather than taking the easy option of following the Macmillan Way. Inevitably in Lincolnshire there is a lot of river bank or road walking and a number of warnings that the cross field path was blocked by a crop.
The walk joins the Grantham canal to the west of the town and enters Leicestershire by crossing over the River Devon at Woolsthorpe by Belvoir. It follows the Jubilee Way before dropping down into Stathern. I’m a bit concerned about the course chosen across to Hose, it uses a section
of narrow twisting road when safe off road routes are available.
At Hose it again joins the canal towpath which before Hickling passes over the border into Nottinghamshire. Back in county LFA members will be familiar with the route though Wymeswold then along the King’s Brook to Stanford on Soar. Hathern is the next point of entry and a visit to the church at Breedon was a good choice before the delightful pool side path at Melbourne and a visit to Calke both in Derbyshire but well used by our walking groups. The guide states that the pool side path is permissive, I wonder why? It’s shown on the OS as definitive. There were also a few revelations where the route used paths I had not know to be public.
Most of the Leicestershire section is in the North West. It was disappointing but not a surprise to see a warning that there may be no path cut through the crop between Diseworth and Tonge an issue I have recently reported to LCC myself. From Heath End the CBW follows the Ivanhoe Way for 8 miles through Ashby to Moira. From here it’s just a short step back into Derbyshire and onward to Wales. Taking a snapshot of the area I know, the route takes in suitable landmarks and places of interest if this is a feature of the whole walk then it should offer an appealing while challenging walk.
The guide includes an accommodation list, some on route, some just off but already I note some services in Leicestershire have changed. Perhaps they will use the website to keep the accommodation list current.
West of Leicestershire highlights along the route include, Shugborough Hall, Cannock Chase, Ironbridge, Wenlock Edge, Church Stretton and Long Mynd. Into Wales there is Welshpool, Lake Vyrnwy, Bala Lake and Dolgellau then finally across the impressive estuary viaduct to enter Barmouth.
LFA walking Weekend Friday 7th – Tuesday 11th August 2015
A longer walking break has been arranged for LFA members at The Bear Inn, Street, Somerset: Just a stones throw from Glastonbury and literally opposite the Clarks shopping village. There are plenty of walks accessible from the hotel and lots of National Trust properties in the area.
Cost approx. £45 – £50 per night per person Bed and Breakfast, based on 2 people sharing. Cost dependent on numbers. Evening meal may be booked in their restaurant at additional cost. Only a limited number of single rooms available, members are encouraged to share twin bedded rooms. Numbers required by Friday 10th April 2015. Contact Cindy W for details: Tel 0116 2234851 or mobile 07711729830.
Martin W deeply thanks everyone who sent cards, messages of support and who were able to come and celebrate Kath’s life; these are so helpful. He hopes to come on more walks!
The 2015 Annual General Meeting took place on Saturday 28th February when it was nice to see some old faces who no longer walk with us but still support the aims of the Association. Discussion centred on the size of some groups and the difficulty of keeping contact between leader and back marker. Please find enclosed with this newsletter a copy of the Check List of Leaders which if followed should overcome any difficulties. Heather reminded us that the Wednesday and Thursday walks had been started to reduce pressure of numbers. Any volunteers to start a Monday or Friday group? Cindy invited suggestions for projects on which to spend our accumulated funds, further suggestions to Cindy or the Secretary please. Neil reported on the need for volunteers to fill three officer posts next year and offered a fixed term of 4 years and the next twelve months mentoring.
Adrian W from LOROS entertained us with slides of the Coast to Coast fund raising walks and we raised £70 on a raffle to win a number of Julia Bradbury walking DVDs.
The new lunch arrangement was well received serving 60 with a salad and yummy puddings. Volunteers willing this could be used again next year. A long and a short walk left others pot washing and putting the room back as we found it. Thanks to everyone who helped make this another good day.
Volunteer Warden Required – Shackestone – Nailstone (3 1/2 miles)
The Leicestershire Round was devised in 1987 in celebration of what was then thought to be the Leicestershire Footpath Association’s centenary year. In an effort to help preserve and maintain the ease of passage along the 100 mile route of the Round for fellow walkers, the Volunteer Wardens Scheme was re-introduced in 2013, under the umbrella of the Leicestershire Footpath Association with backing from Leicestershire County Council. Currently there is a vacancy for a volunteer warden to cover the above part section. The scheme is run on an informal basis but the volunteer warden would be expected to walk the part section at least once a year and report any obstructions, damage etc. and place or renew Leicestershire Round adhesive stickers on waymark posts where required. Most find the role enjoyable and rewarding.
If you would like to volunteer as warden for this part section of the Leicestershire Round, wish to put your name forward for the reserve list of wardens or require any further information, please contact David W, co-ordinator, on 01664 812510
The Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust is the largest non-governmental organisation dedicated to nature conservation in the two counties. It currently has 26 nature reserves in Leicestershire covering about 757.5 hectares (1871 acres). The Trust has a positive policy towards access and try to do as much as they can to encourage it while striving to maintain and enhance the nature conservation value of the estate to the highest possible standards. In recent years they have purposefully replaced nearly all of the stiles on Trust land with gates, to make access for the less able easier. They also maintain miles of paths and woodland rides, and numerous boardwalks, steps, information boards and other features.
Situations Vacant in 2016
Brian J reported at the AGM that after 40 years on the committee and 9 years as LFA Secretary he will be standing down in 2016. We didn’t all realise that for many years Brian has carried out two rolls for LFA that of General Secretary and Diversions Secretary. It has been agreed that this should revert to separate rolls and therefore we seek two volunteers.
General Secretary: involves dealing with the general correspondence and administration (other than financial) of the Association. Arranging committee meetings and generally co-ordinating the smooth running of things. Much of the work is now done with the computer and does not require field work so would suit a supporter of LFA who for whatever reason may not walk.
Diversions Secretary: receives proposals for path diversions from County Hall and the Districts on which LFA committee has an opportunity to make comment or objection. Ideally the post holder would either know the path or be willing to take a look and report a recommendation to the committee. This roll may take the holder to previously unexplored parts of the county visiting unknown paths.
Jennifer Macg our Minutes Secretary has also indicated her wish to stand down. This roll involves attending the committee meetings (10 / year) and the AGM to take minutes then type them up.
All posts offer the opportunity to shadow during 2015 and take over at the 2016 AGM. We would be happy to extend the successful arrangement where the volunteer takes on the roll for a fixed term of say 3 or 4 years.
Leicestershire Round Update
The Leicestershire Round guide will soon need replacing and as the last was only a reprint any new publication will need updating. A number of issues have been identified which need investigating. These range from minor errors or changes to the route description to possible changes to the route caused by development. We would like to create a working party to investigate and discuss the issues leading to a re-write of the guide for distribution in two years time. This may appear a long time ahead but in order to maintain the high profile of the Leicestershire Round it is essential that the guide does not become unavailable. We anticipate that discussion will take place by email with perhaps occasional site visits to inspect possible route changes. If you would like to be part of this project please email Ken at email@example.com
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New footpath at Groby.
The Leicestershire Ramblers perseverance over many years persuaded an Inspector at a local inquiry earlier this year to approve this footpath. The footpath proceeds along the access drive to 53a, Markfield Road and extends for 235 metres to Forest View (adjacent Martinshaw Primary school).
Lower down Markfield Road towards the church, footpath R34 provides access under the Groby By-Pass and on towards Groby Pool. These combined footpaths will afford walkers a different approach in gaining access to Martinshaw Woods.
Claim for new link footpath at Anstey
Member John H of Anstey advised our Association earlier this year, of his claim for a link footpath in the Parish of Anstey. He has walked the route for a period in excess of forty years. Part of the route incorporates the track leaving Anstey Lane proceeding in a northerly direction to Anstey High Leys Farm. The respective grid references are SK537079 and SK537086.
Following submission for this link to be included on the Definitive Map of Rights of Way, a reply has been received to the effect the matter cannot proceed unless additional user evidence forms by members of the public are completed.
If you know the claimed link and have walked it unchallenged for a period in excess of twenty years, then your evidence would support this claim. Please contact our Secretary if you can assist in Mr. H’s claim. The map shows the route A-B claimed by John.
East Midlands Gateway Rail Freight Interchange
A company is applying for a development consent order to authorise the construction, operation and maintenance of a rail freight interchange and warehousing with highway works on land in the vicinity of Junction 24 of the M1 to the north of East Midlands Airport, south of Lockington and Hemington and to the east of Castle Donington.
The consent order if successful will considerably alter the rights of way network. Surprisingly a good deal of attention has been devoted to public access. I had to attend County Hall to obtain a comprehensive map outlining the proposals and will bring this to the Annual General Meeting in February 2015 for members to study. The links will be maintained between Castle Donington and Kegworth and in particular a new bridleway has been planned.
You can view the full details on the project website, www.eastmidlandsgateway.co.uk
LFA History -The Minute Book
When I volunteered to take on the job of recording the minutes at LFA committee minutes little did I think that I would still be doing it almost ten years later. I was taking over from Diana Davidson who was still recording the minutes by hand in a large bound ledger. Not wishing to do this I started to use my computer and have been collecting these minutes ever since in loose leaf binders. That Minute Book, along with others back to 1887, is now lodged at the Wigston Record Office where it can be consulted.
Some time ago Heather had the bright idea that these later minutes should also be bound. The committee agreed that for this we could use money that has been donated to LFA rather than just putting this money into the general fund. The binding has been done by the University of Leicester Print Shop. This volume covers the minutes from 2006 to 2011 and was ready for the committee to see at a recent meeting. It will eventually be lodged in the Record Office. The minutes from 2012-2015 will be similarly bound when that time is completed. I am hoping that by then I will be able hand over the position of Minutes Secretary. If anyone feels they would like to take over this interesting and very rewarding job perhaps they could contact me. I would be happy to talk them through what is involved.
What did the Law do for us? – Rights of Way Act 1990
Occupiers of land are permitted under section 134 of the Highways Act 1980 to plough footpaths and bridleways that run across arable land. The right to plough or otherwise disturb the surface of a path is subject to the path being reinstated for public use.
The 1980 Act failed to make clear when and how paths should be reinstated so the 1990 Act clarifies the requirements by setting the width for a footpath at 1 metre minimum or for a bridleway 2 metres minimum. After the initial ploughing or other cultivation, carried out in connection with sowing a crop, the occupier is allowed 14 days to reinstate the path surface and for a second or subsequent disturbance it must be reinstated within 24 hours.
The path should also be apparent on the ground so when any crop, other than grass, emerges the occupier must ensure that the line of the path through the crop is indicated to at least the minimum width and prevent the crop from encroaching within this width. It is unlikely that the tramping of many public feet will meet this requirement.
Byways open to all traffic (BOATs) and restricted byways may not be ploughed, nor may footpaths and bridleways that run along the edges of a field (headland paths). The minimum width of headland paths is footpaths 1.5 metres, bridleways 3 metres and other highways (including byways and restricted byways) 3 metres. If we find paths that do not meet these requirements we should report them to our Obstructions Secretary or LCC.
Rural Payments Agency (RPA)
Cross Compliance and Area Payments. Good news or bad? I fear to investigate too deeply in this mine field of EU subsidies, but it would appear that there could be some good news for walkers. I had a comment from an LCC officer that continued failure to reinstate a cross field path would be reported to the RPA and now I hear that the Ramblers Association is calling on the Government to allow individuals to report footpath obstructions directly to the RPA. If there is little chance of a penalty folk take risks and ignore the law. Increase the chance of getting caught with a fine or penalty and we toe the line.
The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has reiterated that English farmers must maintain public rights of way or face losing EU subsidies. The UK is the fifth largest recipient of subsidies, with nearly 200,000 farmers receiving £3.3 billion in payments.
Network Rail – Crossing Closures
As you know, the LFA was formed to protect and preserve the local footpaths and open spaces. This is still our fundamental role. One piece of national legislation that particularly affects several Leicestershire footpaths and bridleways is the Government directive to reduce the accidents at railway crossings.
Clive F and I attended a meeting of The Leicestershire Local Access Forum in April to hear a presentation by Martin B , the Safety Manager Midland Region, of Network Rail. This was an informative meeting with scope for general questions only.
The presentation was on the proposals of Network Rail to reduce the number of all forms of railway crossings at ground level with a view to reducing the number of genuine accidents. This has to be done within budget constraints.
The Government has set them a national target of reducing fatal accidents to zero by 2020 and a reduction of the 6,500 crossings by 25% in the next 25 years. Over the last 10 years there have been an average of 12 accidental deaths per year, of which about 3 are pedestrians or cyclists.
To this end there will be better automatic safety measures at controlled crossings including low level obstruction sensors which will detect a fallen pedestrian. In 2017/18 after re-signalling there will be no manned signal boxes and control will be from a N.R. centre in Derby.
Within Leicestershire the Midland Main Line will be electrified in the next 5 years and the speed limit will be increased to 125 mph. The cross country route, Birmingham to Peterborough, will be 90 mph. This route to the East of Leicester, known as the Wreak Valley Route, has had all its bridges raised to allow passage of container trains. It is to become a main artery to East Coast ports. The number of passenger trains and goods trains will both double.
One of the modern criteria for a footpath crossing is that there should be clear visibility for 2000 yards either side. N.B. at 90mph 2000 yards is covered in 45 seconds. Even at half this speed with poor weather and /or poor eyesight there is little time.
A certain number of foot bridges will be constructed but at £350,000 to £400,000 they will be limited. As for bridle way bridges they cost £1.5 million upwards depending on land required.
We were told N.R. wished to work with all stakeholders, of which we are one, but not all could be satisfied. They are saying there is still a lot of consultation to take place. We have an interest and duty to keep as many crossings as possible open. As only some will be kept open we need to come to a common approach with other walking groups to preserve attractive circular walks and of course The Leicestershire Round. Already some farmers have given up their rights to cross the railway to their fields and accepted compensation to offset their inconvenience. In those instances support in our request for keeping the crossing open would not be forthcoming
Currently your committee is dealing with some proposed diversions and closures but unfortunately it is piecemeal and we have no overall scheme to view. We aim to monitor this closely…………………….
Congratulations from Martin W
To the much derided Health & Safety Executive who managed to bring a successful prosecution of the Stanford on Soar bull and cattle keeper.
To LFA member Roy Shakespeare for organising and collecting an impressive petition for Leicester to keep King Richard III – this invaluable help achieved success.
Have you walked the Leicestershire Round?
A new stock of sew on badges has been purchased so if you don’t have one, the old one is tatty or the rucksack is in need of renewal get a badge now. Send s.a.e and £2.50 to LFA at Gamekeepers Lodge, 11 London Road, Great Glen, LE8 9DJ
At the last AGM Judy S and her team from the W.I. produced their appetising lunches as usual which they had done for a number of years. All good things must come to an end and those of you who attended will know it was the end of an era. We established that attendees came not only for the business but also the lunch, meeting friends and walks.
Although February 2015 seems a long time away this is the last newsletter this year and in order to organise ourselves properly we need to decide on lunch arrangements well in advance. Feelers were put out to outside caterers who may have been able to cater at an acceptable price but nothing was forthcoming.
We therefore come back to catering for ourselves. We hope to set up a sub-committee to decide what is feasible and co-ordinate matters. It will not be possible to duplicate Judy’s menu which was a monumental effort. At the time of writing nothing is decided but I am using this opportunity to put you in the picture. The sub committee will certainly need help at committee stage and practical help close to and at the AGM. Requests for particular help will come through walk organisers/leaders and we trust there will be a positive response.
Summer Walks Programme – Analysed
Sad it may be but I’ve plotted on a map the start point of all LFA walks from the summer 2014 programme (excluding Tuesday long walks because details are not available). There were 26 walks each on Tuesday, Wednesday (short plus long), Thursday and Saturday, a total of 130 walks. Add to that 14 mid summer Monday evening walks and thirteen Tuesday long walks, a grand total of 157 walks. I have been surprised by the variety and spread of the walks. It is difficult to show the maps in printed form so an illustrated report can be found on our website.
Each group has spread walks around Leicestershire and all have wandered occasionally into adjoining counties. Looking at the combined picture, LFA walks have shunned Melton district, north east of the A606. Two other areas also show neglect, the M1 corridor north of Markfield and to the far west the villages south of Ashby have been ignored. One group totally ignored north west Leicestershire.
On the positive side I was surprised to see both the Tuesday and Saturday groups had walks starting from North Kilworth, an area I have recently discovered to be a bit barren of footpaths. Jim M has long complained about a path from Bitteswell that stopped abruptly at Magna Park but a recent link has improved things, so well done Jane D for putting on a walk from this pretty village.
- Annual reports going back to 2006 reveal membership numbers for both members and parish councils to be as shown above.
- The trend in member numbers has been consistently upwards in the years up to 2013, albeit in varying numbers ranging from 3 in 2008 to 33 in 2009.
- For the first time since 2006 we appear to be heading for a net reduction in membership this year, with a drop of 42 (9 resignations including deaths plus 33 non-renewals) against 24 new members, giving a net reduction of 18. Although there is still plenty of time for further new members to join us. It should be said that attendance numbers on the walks are holding up, and even increasing.
- The decline is due to the lower number of new members, which was 45 in 2013. If we do have a drop in 2014 it will be in line with the RA who have reported “The numbers of people walking in the UK is steadily rising but I am afraid our membership is slowly ebbing away”
- Parish council membership has declined steadily over the same period, probably due to financial cut-backs at all levels of local government.
- Despite these small reductions we are still in a very healthy financial position, with the accounts heading for a surplus in the region of £1,000 by the end of the year.
Thinking of a walking holiday for 2015?
For more information visit
The National Forest Way
Launched after 5 years of planning. It Links the National Arboretum at Alrewas Staffordshire with Beacon Hill at Woodhouse Eaves. The route is 75 miles and a bit like the Robin Hood Way in Nottinghamshire it twists and turns like a drunken sailor. I know from bitter experience that the National Arboretum is not a walker friendly location, being trapped alongside the A38, railway and rivers Trent and Tame there are very limited access points. It’s a shame they haven’t been able to use Mythaholme Bridge over the Trent, it cost £130,000 in 2004 and still has no footpaths linking to it. I noted new waymarks recently on the Ivanhoe Way between Staunton Harold and Ashby de la Zouch and thought perhaps that route had been renamed ‘National Forest Way’ but it appears it uses the same paths, unfortunate we couldn’t have waymarks showing both routes. I’m not impressed.
See http://www.nationalforestway.co.uk/ for more information.
Cross Britain Way
Tim Bruton left a message on our website, “I am the culprit! My wife and I have put the Cross Britain Way together over the past five years, with the blessing of the six English Counties involved I may add, and we waymarked the whole route in May and June. I would be happy to tell you more if you want to contact me.” I’ve tried but had no reply (Ed)
A Google search offers the following information from the Macmillan Way and Barmouth Town Council websites:
From Boston, the ‘Cross Britain Way’ heads westwards through middle England. Across the Lincolnshire Fens, through the Vale of Belvoir and the National Forest. After the canals of South Staffordshire it turns south-west across Cannock Chase and into East Shropshire, passing through Iron Bridge Gorge before heading into the Shropshire Hills. Leaving England behind it crosses the rolling green hills of mid Wales and into the Berwyn Mountains. The final stretch is through Snowdonia before reaching journeys end at Barmouth. From the minutes of Barmouth Town Council 25th March 2014: ‘Correspondence …Cross Britain Way – best place for end of walk marker Harbour Masters Office – forward letter to Barry Davies for his response.’
Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on Newsletter autumn 2014
2014 AGM Report
Pressure was on this year to complete the formal business and allow time for a brief history of footpath protection in Leicestershire from 1840. Thanks to Steve H who offered his research and to Heather who edited it. Chris M was thanked for her Chairmanship of the last three years and vacated the chair half way through the meeting. Neil B was elected unopposed to complete the chores of the day. Thanks were also given to Clive F and David S who have stood down. There were no contentious issues to debate so we moved on with Neil’s elaborate introductions of the performers in the style of Leonard Sachs the alliterative Chairman of the Good Old Days.
The performance was respectfully received and in the absence of a standing ovation or calls for an encore we were ready and eager for lunch a little earlier than anticipated. Peter B liked the cheers best!! and said we should have booked the Curve as our performance was better than the ones he’d seen there! Copies of the Well Trodden Path were offered free to those present to read about the LFA post 1887.
After the excellent lunch Neil thanked the team who have done us sterling service for many years but have said this will be the last. Although this has been said before, we will be looking for new caterers in 2015 so please let a committee member know if you have a contact.
Two walks were on offer, 6 miles with one stile and some mud, or 2-3 miles, no stiles – then a correction when this walk was initially claimed to be mud free. The Annual General Meeting is an essential but dull part of Association business, the attendance again suggests we succeeded in making it an enjoyable event. Thanks to members for attending.
He Go : He come Back – A walk on Friday 22nd August 2014 6pm.
Come follow the linear route King Richard III took when leaving the city from Bow Bridge; the lost Roman Road across Western Park to Ratby Lane. See a yellow posted / green finger-pointed footpath of 600 metres missed off the O/S map! 80% surfaced; 20% grasslands. Distance: 4.5 miles. Possible use of First 12 bus service to return.
Meet: Bow Bridge, St Augustine / King Richards Road. (A-Z map, 27, H926; OS grid SK 58018 04363)
Ramblers Worldwide Holidays
Leicestershire Footpath Association has recently joined The Walking Partnership. Supported by Ramblers Worldwide Holidays it can provide direct financial contributions to local walking groups such as LFA.
If you book a holiday with Ramblers Worldwide Holidays remember to quote the name of our group, we will then receive a contribution of £10 per person on UK holidays, £20 per person on short haul holidays, and £30 per person on long haul holidays.
Bucket collection raises £300 for LOROS
The Wednesday walks on 18th December 2013 were a combined effort between the 5 and 7 milers and 55 turned up. We all lunched together at Brascote Lodge courtesy of Anne C with a wide variety of foods provided by several members. There was a bucket collection which generated £300 for LOROS.
LOROS Twilight Walk
Saturday 26th April LOROS needs your help for various support roles between 4pm and 10pm. If you can help please contact:- firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0116 231 8484.
Can any member help? The cost of posting out programmes and AGM notices is now over £500 each year. A second class stamp costs 50pence but a second class franked item costs only 33pence. Can you offer a suggestion on cutting our postage costs?
2014 National Forest Walking Festival
This takes place between 17th and 29th May 2014. “Last year’s festival was a huge success, with overall numbers up to almost 1460 walkers” so says:
You can register to receive the 2014 programme and follow the planning on Facebook and Twitter. The 2014 festival aims to offer something for everyone, whatever their age, interests or abilities. An opportunity to introduce sedentary friends and family to walking?
GPS Geeks or thinking of becoming one?
Are you interested in a gathering to broaden your knowledge and skill? Contact Ken:- Email email@example.com
In the autumn newsletter we reported two railway crossing issues. Sadly there appears to be no progress at either Shackerstone Station which takes the Leicestershire Round on a bridge over the station or at Barrow upon Soar where a bridleway crosses six lines.
Mapping on the web. In addition to the sites suggested last time you might like to look at http://www.bing.com/maps click on the road drop down then choose OS when the map appears at 1:50,000 keep zooming in and it changes to 1:25,000.
Thorpe Satchville and Leire call for user evidence
LFA has always claimed to only walk on recognised paths and today that means those shown on the Definitive Map and depicted in either red or green on Ordnance Survey maps. It’s all too easy on the ground to follow a well walked path which we may not realise is not actually recorded as public. We were surprised to discover that two short sections of our very own Leicestershire Round are not recorded as public paths and hence have the potential to be lost. Although there is currently no threat to either path we do need to take steps to have the paths added to the Definitive Map for their protection and the integrity of the Leicestershire Round route. The path through Thorpe Satchville churchyard and along Station Lane at Leire need adding to the Definitive Map, we need to gather evidence that the paths have been used from the time the Round was created and launched. If you can offer evidence of use please contact Brian Jenkinson NOW – thank you.
At Chester House, Bourton on the Water, cost: approx. £65 – £69 per night per person Bed and Breakfast. Evening meal may be obtained from either of their 2 associated restaurants at additional cost. If you want to check for any late places contact Cindy W Tel 0116 2234851 or mobile 07711729830.
During a recent Ashby U3A walk on bridleway S25 between Cadeby and Brascote at Naneby Hall Farm near the quarry entrance a lady was bitten in the calf by a dog that wouldn’t heed its owners’ calls to come away from a group of walkers. The incident was reported to the police.
Walk from Kirby Muxloe Saturday, 1st February 2014 – 10 miles
Despite this January’s unprecedented rainfall level, a group of 11 walkers left Kirby Muxloe in bright sunshine. Keeping to its 16th Century name of Kirby ‘Muckleby’ (the village of the mud) ground conditions required a late change of route, in order to reach Ratby village.
From Ratby the path led over the fields into Whirlybones Wood, a willow plantation which is on the edge of the National Forest. Reaching a ford, we entered Ratby Burroughs, picking our path carefully.
Climbing up towards Old Hay Farm the group diverted again to avoid ‘swimming’ in places and eventually crossed Forest Hill Golf Course to reach Markfield Lane and then on to Botcheston.
Leaving Botcheston we passed swathes of snowdrops a welcome sign of the Spring to come.
Further down the path we slipped, waded, ‘walked on water’, crossed the railway line and accompanied by a flock of sheep reached the outskirts of Desford. A very welcome lunch break was taken in the parish churchyard of St. Martin, Desford.
After lunch the weather deteriorated and the wind strengthened as the walkers headed from Desford, across more fields in varying depths of mud and water to Pendlewood Farm, before reaching Leicester Lane. The final stretch took us to Elms Farm and then thankfully onto dry stone paths and tarmac roadway as we reached the outskirts of Kirby Muxloe. Fortunately the rain held off and this challenging but enjoyable walk was completed as it had started, in bright sunshine.
The leader, Colin Beardmore (undertaking his initial walk as Leader for LFA) remarked that ‘perhaps for today, the letters LFA, should be interpreted to mean Leicestershire Fellow Amphibians !’
Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on Newsletter Spring 2014
Leicestershire Round 30th birthday event
The Leicestershire Round celebration party click here for more met in perfect weather on Tuesday 3rd September at the Lady Jane Grey’s ruins in the beautiful Bradgate Park. The Tuesday group walkers came en masse, in a pause on their walk from Badgers Sett, and a group of about 30 joined Brian J for a 6 mile walk* via Woodhouse as advertised by flyers and by notices on Radio Leicester arranged by LCC’s Andrew Poole.
Speeches were made by the chairman of the County Council, praising the work of LFA in producing the Round and by LFA chairman, Chris M, giving the history of the progress of the Round’s first 30 years in conjunction with the county council’s rights of way department. Both speakers praised the beautiful Leicestershire countryside and the best waymarked paths, with cheers of agreement from the audience of over 100 people!
Praise was given to Jim M for his work in waymarking and maintaining the whole route for so many years and mention was made of our current scheme of wardening the route.
The excellently decorated cake was cut by Judy S and helpers and at least 100 portions were devoured, with great pleasure.
The Leicestershire Round was created to celebrate the centenary of the Leicestershire Footpath Association, hale and hearty since 1887. So why celebrate in 2013?
The original idea was for the Leicestershire Round to be launched in our centenary year. However, such was the enthusiasm shown for the project, the Leicestershire Round booklets were produced by the Leicestershire Libraries in 1983 four years before our centenary. In the centenary year of 1987 members walked on a succession of Saturdays in the Summer months sections of the Leicestershire Round. There was a short ceremony before the first walk at Bradgate Park extolling the virtues of the walk.
So in answer to the question above this was technically the celebration of the publication of the guides being available and route becoming walkable.
*Brian’s walk of six miles was based on a walk from 32 Short Walks on the Leicestershire Round, now out of print but available on line at http://systemed.co.uk/roundwalks/
From the Access Forum
Brian attended, as a member of the public, the Leicestershire Access Forum at County Hall on Wednesday 14th August and two items were of particular interest.
LCC are now looking at diverting the footpath at Shackerstone Station which takes the Leicestershire Round on a bridge over the station. The bridge is currently closed having been deemed unsafe. The cost of repairs cannot be met by the Railway Trust. The Forum was very supportive in requesting the route to be quite near the station and access to continue through the station complex.
And on the big railway, Network rail have abandoned the footbridge idea to carry Barrow upon Soar – bridleway I20 over the six lines of the railway and have applied for extinguishment in the interests of safety for pedestrians. We have now received a copy of the Forum’s response:-
The proposal was discussed at length by The Local Access Forum. The membership of the forum are completely opposed to this application. We all accept the very dangerous situation caused by the increased speed of trains over this crossing but reject the proposition that there is no solution to the problem. It is merely a matter of cost which should not take precedence over the public’s historic right of way using this still valuable link for non motorised traffic.
The first obvious solution is to reduce the speed of the trains past this point. We accept that in the national transport ambition a higher speed link is advisable but in the greater scheme of things the cost of an adequate bridge, whist substantial, is not prohibitive.
A more lengthy diversion for horses etc. might be possible, to maintain their links, whereas the distances involved would be unacceptable to pedestrians.
The Forum has offered an invitation for Network Rail to attend a meeting with them to discuss all options to resolve the problem of ever faster trains while maintaining a link in the Rights of Way network.
Bits and pieces
Mapping on the web. Leicestershire and Rutland now both offer a map of the footpath network using Google maps. Most counties have access to a footpath map on line, they vary considerably and can be difficult to find so here’s a useful site that makes the search easy.
The Leicestershire version at http://www.leics.gov.uk/pathsmap is not a reproduction of the Definitive Map but it does have the advantage that it can be viewed over the satellite view. This can be interesting as a well used path will show up on the ground or perhaps if locals have created an alternative route this will also be apparent. It offers the path numbers by clicking on the path in question so no excuses if you need to report a problem. The window available to view is much larger and much easier and quicker to scan around the network.
Obstructions Secretary – you may have heard that Clive is standing down after many years in post so we are seeking a volunteer to fill this position which is also a committee position. On earlier occasions we have reminded members that for £5 / year a lot is on offer from the Association so serving for a short while in a post to put a little back is part of the membership deal. Next meetings are 16th October and 4th December, if you would like to come along and observe please contact Brian J. Our thanks to Clive for doing his bit and for his speedy recovery.
Thanks to Cindy W who at the meeting on Wednesday 4th September was co-opted onto the committee and to Kate P who has taken over as Thursday rambles organiser.
Membership growing. The Treasurer reported that in September we have 321 members plus another 53 parish councils. We did loose a few due to the automatic disqualification when subs have not been paid by September, lets hope that was not an oversight. Even if you can no longer join our walks we do value your membership as the Association also speaks on footpath issues so supporter numbers are important.
The weekend away at Willersley Castle read more here was a great success and reported to have been very enjoyable. Twenty nine folk attended, enjoying the Derbyshire countryside and industrial archaeology around Cromford. There were some steep climbs on the walks but all returned safely. Thanks to Cindy for organising a good event which no doubt means members will be happy for you
to do it again!!!
A RAMBLER’S TALE recalled by Mary E
Ramblers know that every walk is an adventure with something memorable about
it. Sometimes a small thing like a walker leaving a boot in the mud or feeding a goat with an apple core.
Cheerful autumn morning, leaves turning gold, air sharp and clear, fifteen ramblers with rucksacks and boots, climbing the stile near Bruntingthorpe into the green field at the start of a six mile walk.
Then we saw it, a huge sheep tangled up in the bramble hedge, struggling with alarm at our approach.
“Fetch Jim,” somebody called. Jim was the farmer in the group and knew how to talk to animals. Ordering us all to be quiet he stood about a yard from the sheep and chatted. The sheep listened. “Now what have you been up to?
Dear, dear, dear, what a mess! Have you been in this bush all night? We’ll see what we can do.” “Steve, Alan, bring your clippers. Come to the front, let her look at you before you go round the hind.”
While the rest of us sat on the grass the two men set to work separating long strands of dead blackberry twigs tangled up with thick pinkish curly fur from sheep’s back. Sometimes the fur had to be clipped off to release the stems before passing them across to a waiting rambler.
The sheep kept very still listening to Jim telling her about the route ahead.
After about half an hour came the order, “Stand well back she’s nearly free and could knock you over,” One push of her bottom and out she rushed. Open mouthed we watched her leap up into the air higher than our heads then rush up the field to join the rest of the flock.
What an amazing sight, we had heard of jumping for joy, now we saw it. What a reward.
Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on Newsletter Autumn 2013
Volunteer Wardens required to protect ‘Leicestershire Round’
The Leicestershire Round was devised in 1987 by our members to celebrate what was then thought to be the Association’s centenary year.
Supported by the Leicestershire County Council, the 100 mile circular route passes through some of the most scenic areas of Leicestershire and Rutland and is arguably the premier walking route in the county that is popular, frequently walked and well signposted.
To help preserve and maintain the ease of passage of “The Round” we seek volunteers to adopt a section of the route and act as wardens. It is anticipated that the warden would check their section once or twice a year, clearing gateways and stiles, replacing signage where necessary and reporting any obstructions or damage.
Response to this project has been very good, the only section remaining is Shackerstone to Nailstone 3.5 miles so if you can help please contact David W on 01664 812510. There may be other sections that could be shared so please come forward if you would like to help.
2013 Annual General Meeting
This took place at the long standing and excellent premises of the Baptist church at Woodhouse Eaves on Saturday 23rd February. There were seventy six present and the formal meeting went smoothly. Jane D was thanked for her four year term as Treasurer and Dave R takes over so please make sure your subs, if still due, go to Dave. We didn’t get a volunteer to fill the vacant committee place and Clive and Chris will be standing down next year. The press gang will be out! Gerald P then gave an interesting illustrated talk on the Woodland Trust and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood at Ravenstone to which LFA donated £1,000 last year. The Trust now has over 1,000 woods, the vast majority open to the public. Prized are the mature woods over 400 years old and the jewel in the crown is Hackfall Wood in Yorkshire. The Trust was started in Devon in 1972 and now has over 200,000 members. Lunch as always was excellent, thanks to Judy S and her WI helpers. There was officially a long and short walk, both well attended plus an informal grouping taking a shorter stroll. General comment is that all went well. Thanks to everyone who attended and made the day a success.
Lost Ways (Paths, used or unused, not shown on the Definitive Map)
There are potentially 400 Lost Ways in Leicestershire. Past experience of researching claimed rights of way suggests around 80 might reasonably be identified as worthy of preserving. The remainder would either have insufficient historical evidence or offer little in terms of public benefit.
A project promoted by the Leicestershire Local Access Forum aims to identify historical routes which are strategically important or missing links in the rights of way network and to have them safeguarded for the public benefit before the cut off date of 2026.
Any routes which are subject to an outstanding application for addition to the Definitive Map by means of a Definitive Map Modification Order (DMMO) are automatically safeguarded from extinguishment after 2026.
The County Council has more than 30 Definitive Map Modification Order (DMMO) applications awaiting determination and usually is processing around 60 public path orders. In addition to this, there are nearly 2,000 mapping anomalies which have been identified. This later figure includes the potential 400 “lost ways”.
Leicestershire County Council has made a commitment to develop and approve formally a priority system for dealing with DMMOs.
Each application will be evaluated in terms of the following criteria:
- Will the route be well used and of public benefit?
- Does the case have local community support?
- How achievable is the proposal?
- How does the route fit into the surrounding network?
- Other Issues (e.g. hardship, outstanding legal action)
- Health & Safety Issues
- Date application received
Cases can then be listed in order to be dealt with. Low score cases will be held in abeyance or even closed if no further action is warranted.
For more information visit:
Did you know?
Following the circulation of the Annual Report, a member contacted me concerning the relevance of numbers allocated to rights of way.
The reference numbers were first allocated when the Definitive Maps were being complied in the early 1950s. The sequence starts with A1 which is a part footpath part bridleway stretching from Husbands Bosworth north towards Mowsley. Initially routes were numbered from 1 to 99, and then the next letter of the alphabet was used, so the numbers proceeded A1-A99, B1-B99, in an anti-clockwise sequence round the County. So Z99 is a footpath in the parish of Saddington. In the Wreake valley area of Hoby and Rotherby, the letter H precedes the number of each recorded footpath. Just to the west of the church at Rotherby, H52 proceeds northwards to the river Wreake and then onto Hoby.
Subsequently some routes were added to the Definitive Map as a result of a series of Tribunals and these are usually indicated by a suffix. A whole series of added paths in Great Dalby were numbered D98A – D98N. Newer rights of way have been added by using numbers from 100.
Numbers on the eastern edge of Leicestershire are in the E series so, when Rutland became part of Leicestershire in 1974, all routes in Rutland were numbered in the E series from E101 to E357. Rutland retained this numbering system when it again became a separate County in 1997.
The numbering system is important when a legal event occurs, such as the diversion, creation or stopping up of a right of way in whole or part. The right of way must be correctly identified and is written into the order applied for, you may have noticed in local newspapers advertisements to this effect. The County Council, District Councils and some Parish Councils have copies of the definitive map which are open to the public for inspection.
Brian J & Andrew P
Is Tuesday a good day to walk ? asks Neil B
Those of us who walk on Tuesdays often say we are lucky with the weather. Even in 2012 rainwear was not often required. There has been research carried out by the London School of Economics into the best activities for each day of the week.
- Wednesday is best for shopping (the shops are emptier).
- Friday is the best for putting your house on the market, giving up smoking and having a thrifty wedding.
- Sunday is the best day to get high bids on e-bay.
- Saturday and Monday don’t have any benefits.
- Tuesday is best for eating out (avoiding fish that’s been hanging about over the weekend), and best for a barbecue (statistically the driest).
I will leave you to find out what Thursday is best for, but it’s not walking.
So, it seems our intuition is right.
We now have our very own Facebook page which can be found at:- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Leicestershire-Footpath-Association-LFA/135219046636175?ref=ts&fref=ts
Why not join us by clicking on the ‘Like’ button and leave us your comments, suggestions, or maybe even a photograph or two? Then encourage your friends to ‘Like’ our page and we can generate more interest in the LFA and gain some new members.
You can keep up to date with what’s happening in the LFA and elsewhere, plus the latest news from our website. You will also find links to other pages that may be of interest, such as LOROS, Walking For Health and The Leicestershire Round (walking & running pages). Check out our Next Week’s Walks feature. We will include times and venues plus any additional information you might need, including any last minute changes forced upon us.
There is of course a link to our website, should you need more information and there is a Facebook link on the website, so that you can return to Facebook if you wish to do so.
You might think some of this information is already available on our website, which is quite true, but with the Facebook page we are hoping to reach a younger and wider audience and at the same time include new and fresh content that adds value to the information already available, albeit in a slightly different form.
Walking Treasurer Hunt Sunday 23rd June 2013 – Glen Parva
From Glen Parva Manor starts 2.30pm
Tickets £7.50 pp includes main course meal at The Manor.
Meal at 5pm after the treasure hunt (with prizes).
Walking route about 3 miles.
Teams of 2 to 4 people, teams can be arranged on the day.
Tickets on LFA walks or phone Mike R (0116 2331519)
Proceeds for Faraja Support www.farajasupport.org.uk
LFA Quiz Night Sat. 6th April 7pm start
Black Horse 12 Narrow Lane, Aylestone
Tickets £7.50 (includes food) available from walking organiser’s or Steve K (Tel 01455 272196 or Text 0777 3928008)
Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on Newsletter Spring 2013
LEICESTERSHIRE FOOTPATH ASSOCIATION
Newsletter Autumn 2012
John Flower (14th Oct.1793 – 29th Nov.1861) was an English and architectural artist known to locals as “the Leicester artist”. So reads the entry in Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Flower_(artist)). From the Leicester Chronicle 11th August 1855 “Leicestershire Footpath Association – The committee of this society met on Tuesday evening at the Atheneum Rooms, in the Theatre, Hosefair Street, Mr J. Flower in the chair.” We are most grateful to Steve H for making contact with us after he discovered footpath connections with John Flower while researching the life of the artist. There had been suggestions that the Leicestershire Footpath Association had an earlier life before 1887 but until recently the evidence had been over looked or remained hidden. Harry Peach in his address to the Countryside and Footpaths Preservation National Conference of 1928 refers to a conversation with Mr W.Green who recalled “….I well recollect that the first committee in Leicester consisted of Thomas Podd, James Thompson sen. (Leicester Chronicle) and my father Henry Green.” This suggested that reports of the early campaigns would have been published in the Chronicle but I never made the time to investigate. Steve has done much of the work for us and we can now offer the following quote and make a valid claim to be the oldest surviving footpath preservation organisation.
Leicester Chronicle 20th July 1867
Mr Jas. Thompson…….explained that Mr Podd (who had been really the Footpath Association since the decease of Mr Flower)…..If he were able to give a history of the proceedings of the Society since its establishment in 1850, they would be astonished at the extent of the Society’s labours, and at its great usefulness in protecting the ancient foot-paths of the people.”
“Mr Thompson concluded by expressing a hope that the effort to re-organise and re-invigorate the Society would be successful” It was not until 1887 that the Leicestershire Footpath Association managed to become firmly established but the name and aims of the group remains unchanged from those early campaigns to the present day. So this year instead of celebrating our 125th anniversary it should have been 162, shame we missed the 150th.
Fly the flag with LFA Polo and Sweatshirts
No worries about what to wear on a walk, get your LFA logo clothing now. Contact Chris H. A few items still available.
Tuesday Short Walks
We have offered alternative short walks on a Tuesday concurrent with the advertised 5-6 mile walk most weeks since the AGM. We have walked several village trails, nature reserves, 2-3 mile walks in Bradgate Park, round Thornton Reservoir and by the side of streams and canals. In short anywhere that those who for what ever reason need an easier shorter walk taken at a slower, more leisurely pace. They have proved very popular and it is good to have some people walking again who had stopped coming prior to the ‘short walks’. We get between 3 and 7 people but are happy to have more!
Contact Val W if you are interested in joining us.
Tickets £7.00 from walk leaders
North West Leicestershire is renowned for its labyrinth of paths, in some fields there are so many paths it’s difficult to differentiate between them. For today’s recreational use it’s difficult to object to diversion proposals, or justify why all these came into existence but they are there and at some time in the past someone did champion each path.
It’s so easy to change the routes for the needs of today but these constant tweaks are destroying the historical significance of the paths. I see footpaths as a part of our heritage like old buildings so I was delighted to find the following on the Governments Planning Portal which I believe should be adopted to protect parts of our path network.
“Why are buildings listed? Buildings are listed to help protect the physical evidence of our past, including buildings, which are valued and protected as a central part of our cultural heritage and our sense of identity. Historic buildings also add to the quality of our lives, being an important aspect of the character and appearance of our towns, villages and countryside.”
Leicestershire Lowland Search & Rescue Team (LEICSAR) are a newly formed charity run team of volunteers who assist the local Emergency Services, undertaking in the search, rescue and retrieval of missing, injured or deceased persons.
Our main purpose is to assist in the search for vulnerable missing persons in urban, rural and lowland areas, this includes children, The elderly or those who are suffering from an Illness be it physically or mentally.
On occasions we are utilised to search for injured persons, as a result of this all of our volunteers are fully equipped and trained in First Aid, with at least one trained Trauma Medic per search team.
As a voluntary run scheme we rely heavily on the support of the local community and businesses to offer donations and sponsorship to ensure that we can deliver this vital service.
LFA Website With increased postal costs we need to consider moving in the direction of electronic mail so we need to make better use of our website. That means making it more inviting for members and potential members to use. Please help to keep the website topical by submitting news, events and pictures for publication.
Web site address – https://leicestershirefootpaths.wordpress.com/
Web master: Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Why do we go walking? My primary motivation is exploration. Walking gets me to places I can’t access by any other means, to the top of England’s highest peaks, to view our best waterfalls and occasionally to walk across the lawns of stately homes. In days gone by getting to the start of a walk or other journey could have the added pleasure of a steady trundle through the landscape by train but today they travel too fast for sight seeing. The responsibility of driving a car on today’s busy roads makes it foolhardy to attempt taking our eyes off the road for even the briefest of moments when the passenger spots something of interest. It may be an age thing but I suspect most LFA members are eligible to go walking from the bus stop. Travel by bus, especially if it’s a double decker offers better views and leaves the driver to worry about the traffic. In addition it provides opportunities to make linear walks. On Saturday last I enjoyed a 12 mile walk from Market Bosworth having arrived from home via Melton, Loughborough and Coalville, returning via Hinckley and Leicester. All recent Peak District visits have been by way of the excellent Transpeak service direct from Nottingham. Give it a try all the information you need is at Traveline http://traveline.info/
Possible end of public access to grant-aided permissive paths.
Grant-aided walking and riding routes may be withdrawn as Government funding for them comes to an end. The Leicestershire Access Forum is urging people to enjoy these opportunities while they can and encouraging parish councils to take an active interest in their future. There are over 65 of these time-limited extra paths or access areas in the county. Full details at: http://cwr.defra.gov.uk
Landowners have created these permissive routes in exchange for public money. On-going funding for access schemes has now ended. Some sites have already expired but others will last at various dates up until 2020. Some are widely publicised but others are little known. The Access Forum is suggesting that, where landowners have permissive access schemes which are due to end, local Parish Councils might talk with them about on-going informal access or even possibly enter into a permissive path agreement.
Paths for Communities’ (P4C)
Defra have asked Natural England to develop and run a new grant scheme called ‘Paths for Communities’ (P4C). With funding from the Rural Development Programme, the aim of the Scheme will be to encourage and enable local communities to work with land owners to develop and enhance local public paths in ways that deliver wider benefit. It should offer a network with more appeal to visitors and tourists, contributing to the rural economy through better support for local services such as shops, pubs, hotels, bed and breakfasts, equestrian and cycle businesses. http://www.leics.gov.uk/i_-_paths_for_communities.pdf
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