Tag: walking

A couple of days ago, I published a blog supporting criticism by The Ramblers of swingeing cuts to Shropshire Council’s rights of way budgets. In a discussion on Twitter, Council Leader Keith Barrow tweeted: “We have around 3,500 miles of footpaths. Well used ones keep clear.” He is wrong. Well used footpaths don’t keep clear. Keith is right that The Ramblers help a great deal, as do Parish Paths Partnerships and other groups. Many people just clear paths on their own. But he doesn’t understand why well used footpaths block or become unpleasant to walk. This point is best illustrated by an example. I keep a stretch of the Shropshire Way clear. It’s the sunken way at SO569749, south of Knowbury church on the south west slopes of Clee Hill. I guess I spend around 7-8 hours a year getting it clear and a rather more on nearby paths. This is a well-used path. The Shropshire Way is our premier walking route and hundreds if not thousands of people tramp up from Ludlow to the top of the Titterstone Clee. But the sunken way becomes impassable without clearance. This happens for a very simple reason. Once the soil and air…

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A letter has arrived from The Ramblers asking me to “support a reversal of the cuts imposed by the current administration so that we have Rights of Way that are accessible to all.” To me this is a ‘no-brainer’. Here is what I said in my latest Focus Newsletter which has been delivered across Ludlow and Bromfield: Like many people in Ludlow, I love putting my boots on and going for a hike. I’ve noticed of late, as have so many others, that the quality of walking is getting worse. A year of lousy weather hasn’t helped, but the main issue is broken stiles, illegally locked gates and paths overgrown with crops and brambles. Too many of our footpaths are in a mess and this can only put off visitors, reducing trade to our pubs, cafés, shops, and bed and breakfasts. It would be a folly to scare tourists away. Walkers pump £65 million a year into the county’s economy and support around 1,000 jobs. Conservative led Shropshire Council must get a grip on footpaths and invest in their maintenance.   This gate at Cayman has been locked for six months When I lived in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, great walking…

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