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Members' Day

Gary Malcolm reports from the event at York University

This was an experiment by Ramblers to provide some education and knowledge to the rank and file members.

Ramblers had hired halls and accommodation at the university anyway for the annual council meeting (ie agm) on April 2, so they thought: ‘Why not tack onto the formal meeting something for all members?’

I was intrigued by some of the speakers so signed up and duly turned up at the venue at 9am and immediately saw an old pal from Norwich Ramblers and then saw that Michael Woodhouse from our group had also arrived.

After a coffee and chat we were formally welcomed to the meeting by the Ramblers chairman and also the Chief Executive (I can’t remember what they said so it was probably not very memorable) and then watched a fairly cheesy and amateurish film about the Ramblers.

Between 10am and noon we all had two workshops.

The first I attended was called Making a Difference for Walkers and was led by two Ramblers staff. We were asked to discuss in small groups what we felt were the main achievements of the Ramblers and also what we felt were the greatest challenges facing the organisation in the future.

The main achievements were almost universally agreed as achieving access to the countryside and assisting to keep footpaths open.

Challenges for the future were diverse and included hard-up councils with no money to maintain footpaths, attracting younger members and the name ‘Ramblers’ which brings to mind in the eyes of many a bunch of old folk dressed in woolly bobble hats and red socks walking aimlessly around the countryside.

The second workshop I attended was Basic First Aid For Walkers led by a trainer from the British Red Cross. We took it in turns to play patients and first aiders and the main points I took onboard were as follows:

1 If someone has an accident on a walk, reassure them and then find out if anyone in the party has medical training. If not, find out exactly where the problem lies, keep the patient warm and if necessary offer food and drink.

2 If problem appears to need medical attention (eg broken bone) telephone emergency services for ambulance or go for help if no telephone signal.

3 If someone is bleeding, apply a tourniquet and pressure to try to stem the flow of blood. If no bandage available, improvise by using an item of clothing.

4 Elevate the body part if applicable, eg if leg is bleeding, get patient to raise leg so blood runs away from injury towards heart.

5 If patient stops breathing, do something Doing nothing will almost certainly result in patient’s death or permanent brain damage. Chances are slim that any action by you will save patient’s life but it is worth a go, even if you break several ribs of the patient. Apply 30 chest compressions and then follow this with 2 mouth to mouth breaths and repeat until earlier of patient starting breathing or emergency services arriving.

After fun of the first aid session, we had a good quality hot lunch courtesy of the Ramblers and were then able to visit various hubs, ie exhibitors’ stands and the good thing about this was the goodies handed out to us gratis, including boot wax, fabric proofers, energy bars, etc. There was also the chance to meet Alan Hinkes ( mountaineer).

The afternoon session saw the main speaker in action, Andy Wilson, chief executive of the North York Moors National Park. Andy came across as a really pleasant, somewhat unassuming guy with a rather difficult job, but nevertheless a job that he loves. He discussed the Sirius Minerals potash mine planning application which was approved by the Planning Committee.

There was then a question and answer session hosted by Kate Ashbrook, President of the Ramblers, with Andy Wilson, Alan Hinkes, and representatives from British Red Cross, Cotswold Outdoor and Memory Map.

Cotswold Outdoor recommend the use of 2 sticks to prolong one’s walking life as, he said, the use of 2 sticks reduces the pressure on joints by some 40% compared to no sticks. (Allan in our club, I see where you are coming from now!).*

The day finished with a choice of walks led by members of York ramblers , including Nigel and Eric who some of us know from our walks and the area camp respectively. I chose a walk around the campus which is impressive and worth a visit if you are in the area.

Overall, an interesting day, perhaps more suitable for the newish Rambler but still useful and a chance to meet fellow walkers from all over the UK.

*For expert, balanced advice on the use of walking poles, see this link. - Harry

Shortened walks/guidance to leaders

The Rambles Organiser, Tricia Mumford, has circulated the following guidance to walk leaders:

I have received a couple of queries from leaders who are considering offering shorter options to their Sunday walks and thought I would try to clarify the situation (after discussion with our chairman).
Personally I feel that a choice of walks is good as it encourages walkers who might otherwise not attend. However there could be problems if some sections of the walk are not officially led.
The RA national web site has a wealth of information about led walks, the leader's role, safety and insurance issues and I have attached 3 documents; Walk Leader, Walk leader's check list and Civil Liability Insurance. These and other documents can be downloaded directly from the web site zone. 
To quote the insurance document section 3.3.2: "The Walk Leader is the person most exposed to any risk of a claim being made and has a duty of care for all walkers regardless of whether they are members or not."
I interpret this to mean that a leader should lead the walk from start to finish and it is not good practice to suggest that some walkers find their own way back to the start from a point along the main route.
It may seem that a duty of care has been exercised if walkers are given simple directions to walk along a short stretch of road, but in 2012 there were two fatalities on Ramblers led walks due to Road Traffic Accidents.
I therefore suggest that shorter options can only be offered under the following situations;
1. The route is a genuine figure-of-8, when the whole group return to the start after the shorter option then the longer walkers continue along a second loop, or
2. A group member, preferably one of our experienced leaders, agrees to lead the shortened walk after it has split from the main party.

Plotting paths

The group chairman, Phil Trafford, is inviting members to help plot paths that should be recorded as rights of way in the Scarborough urban area.

He writes:

First of all a bit of history about public rights of way:  Up until 1949, the public had to go through the courts to prove that a path was a right of way.

But that changed with the passing of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, which made it necessary for surveying authorities (now county councils and unitary authorities) to draw up and maintain a "definitive map and statement" of the rights of way in their area .

A definitive map is a legal document which must be produced and kept up to date by every county council or unitary authority in England and Wales (except the inner London boroughs).

It should show every right of way in an authority's area and the nature of the rights over the paths shown i.e. whether there's a right of way on foot, on horseback or in a vehicle. This definitive map is used to mark rights of way onto the ordnance survey maps, with which all ramblers are familiar.

Under the 1949 Act some urbanised areas could apply to be excluded and Scarborough was duly deemed an “excluded area”.

Although there are many paths, which are freely used and have become regarded as rights of way by the locals, these paths do not have any legal status and do not appear on Ordnance Survey maps, so their existence is only known if one has the necessary local knowledge. 

Authorities are being encouraged to add rights of way to the definitive map as quickly as possible in excluded urban areas and that 100% accuracy is not as important as establishing that the right of way exists and is included on the definitive map, so that it is not lost in 2026, after which no old rights of way not already included can be added.

The production of a definitive map for central Scarborough is the responsibility of NYCC, so your committee has been writing to NYCC access officers and to our County Councillor to seek assurances that this process will go ahead and be completed before 2026. Councillor David Jeffels, who is currently chairman of NYCC has replied as follows:

"I have spoken to to the PROW department and the Scarborough Definitive Map is certainly on their radar, and they hope to make progress on it in the coming financial year.

"As I'm you will appreciate there are considerable pressures on such departments as PROW and Countryside Services due to budget cuts, staff cuts etc but the expertise is certainly there in the department to achieve your group's aspirations.

"It seems that a positive way forward in the short term  would be if the ramblers could help by identifying Rights of Way in Scarborough which they believe should be included in the Definitive Map. From my own knowledge I suspect there are a number especially in the Old Town/Harbourside area which should be included and in the Castle Ward in general.

"I am sure the PROW staff would greatly appreciate any input the Scarborough Ramblers can make, especially as there are some 10km of PROW in North Yorkshire so they are under pressure from a number of other areas in the county which has put pressure on their workload."

So, we need volunteers to mark paths in Scarborough that are currently used as rights of way and always have been. For instance the path up to the Castle from just opposite the East Pier. Some routes, like this one are simple and can easily be marked on the map, but others will need to be walked and then marked on the map, whilst they are fresh in the mind. A GPS track would be helpful in these cases.

Left is a section of map as it is now, showing part of the Mere and Oliver’s Mount Area. Underneath is the same map, to which, from memory, I’ve added green lines where I think there should be rights of way. Obviously, there are many more than those marked, which can only be drawn by actually surveying them.

It will be quite a task to draw up maps covering the whole of central Scarborough, but I think a worthwhile one. There are many ways members could help. They could volunteer to cover a small section of the town and get on  with the job on their own or we could cover an area together during an afternoon or morning. If you’re interested in helping, please let me know (  We can then arrange a meeting to discuss how to proceed and, hopefully, come up with a plan of action. - 5 March 16


Danger stretch of Wolds Way diverted

The dangerous stretch of roadside walking where the northbound Yorkshire Wolds Way joins Filey Road, Muston, has been diverted along the edge of a field.

The diversion is shown as a hatched line on this extract from the NYCC official notice, from B to C. (The old route is shown as a solid line.)

The Way has now become the first national trail to be completely free of stiles. - 29 November 2015

Illegal bikers harass walkers

About a dozen off-road motorcyclists and a quadbike rider caused problems for members of a Scarborough group Sunday walk.

Led by Ray Johnson, 19 walkers were on a public footpath on the west side of the River Dove, near Gale End Bridge (SE 683 924) Hutton le Hole, on October 18 when the bikers appeared.

The path is no more than about 3ft wide, so the group had to move briskly aside for the illegal bikers.

One of the party said later: "A member of the public walking his dog tried to converse with the quadbike driver, which was stationary when I passed, but got a load of verbal abuse.

"The motor cyclists did not slow down much when they passed us and indeed one of them, either accidentally or on purpose, almost slid into me, even though I had stepped some four feet off the path to let them go by."

As well as endangering legal users of the footpath, motorbikes tear up the path surface, creating a quagmire in bad weather.

In addition to reporting riders for prosecution, the police can now seize the machines and scrap them for repeated offences.

The riders were reported to National Park volunteers at Hutton le Hole, who were also given the registration number - F155 NWZ - of the quad bike.  The motorcycles appeared to be machines intended exclusively for offroad use, as no numberplates were seen.  - 19 October 2015.

* Click for an audio file of a follow-up to an  incident on the Wolds on 19 July 2015. (Details on Problems page.)


Walk to Remember

Members have been invited to take part in a 10km (6 mile) sponsored walk in the grounds of Temple Newsam, near Leeds, on August 1,

Marie Curie, the charity that provides care and support during terminal illness, is holding a Walk to Remember event during the evening.

Thos provides an opportunity to walk in memory of a loved one, while raising money for the support of others.

More details about the event can be found at - 20.7.15


Eyeing France

Update 2: Richard would like to hear, by phone or email, from anyone interested, so that he can arrange a meeting.  Please call 01723 586434 (best time is about 7.30pm) or email him at - 25 June 15

Update: Several people have expressed interest in Richard Bedford's proposed French trip.  He plans to hold a meeting in July, with a view to arranging the event at Easter 2016.  Richard would particularly like to hear from car drivers. - 8 June 15

Richard Bedford is seeking support for a walking trip in France

He recently ended a cross-Channel trip with an overnight stay near Calais, which is well-known for two capes: Cap Blanc Nez and Cap Gris Nez (pictured left).

He writes: "I had the chance to do some exploration and was rather taken with the range of coastal walks available in what is a quite delightful corner of northern France which travellers from England often simply pass through. 

"!I could envisage straightaway the potential for a very pleasant stay there, combining walking with a couple of trips to neighbouring towns.

"This part of France, like the rest of the country, is rich in history and although just across the Channel, is nonetheless different in style and atmosphere.
"If anyone thinks they may be interested, please let me know.  It is also worth going online and looking at the various info on the area. There's too much for me to list, just try typing in things such as 
Tourism Nord-Pas de Calais
Site des Deux Caps
Tourism Cote d'Opale
Fortified towns of Northern France  (eg St Omer)
Boulogne, Wissant, Ambleteuse
Travel by car, using the Channel Tunnel, is very straightforward and usually takes me 6 to 6.5 hours including a stop."

Richard can be emailed.



Ex-chairman dies

A former Scarborough group chairman, Frances Snee, died in hospital on Sunday.

Frances, who was chairman in the early 1990s, was last seen on a group walk in June last year, when Anne Thornton led a party from Rosedale Abbey.

For several years in recent times she was a familiar face on shorter independent walks led by Margaret Ingham, and with the U3A, and she had been hoping to start tackling longer distances again.

Frances, whose husband pre-deceased her, leaves two sons.  She was a retired physiotherapist.

A funeral service will be held at 11.30am on Monday at St Joseph's Church, Newby. - 14 April 15



National path check

A £300,000 plan to survey every path in England and Wales will be launched by the Ramblers in June.

Although members are expected to play leading roles, it is hoped that the wider community can also be involved.

To take part in the Big Pathwatch, which is being financed by Ramblers Holidays, people will choose a grid square to survey.

The results can be recorded instantly, making them immediately available to other members and highways authorities, by using a smartphone app.  Alternatively, a survey card can be printed for completion, then the results will be uploaded to the Ramblers website.

Two representatives from our area have been chosen to attend a detailed briefing in Birmingham.

For more information, follow this link.

This national campaign complements our group's Path Patrols initiative, which was launched early last year, following the model adopted by groups throughout the country.  Although it was intended that any surveys should be archived for future reference on the website, none has yet been received. - 31 March 15


Folkton bridleway victory



*Update: The land owner did not make any appeal under a point of law before the deadline, and the bridleway order is now in force. - 30.4.15

A lane leading from the A1070 Filey Road near Folkton has finally been confirmed as a public right of way.

Although the lane had been used by walkers and horse-riders for years, the landowner blocked it and claimed that it was private.

After much wrangling and a public inquiry, a planning inspector made an interim decision a year ago to establish a bridleway 3.5 metres (11ft 6ins)  wide, but he invited new objections.

Finally, he has confirmed the order.  (Links to the full order and map are at the bottom of this report.)

On February 19, a "Private land.   No public right of way" sign had disappeared from the access gate next to the road, but the gate was still electrically-operated, and walkers have to climb it.

As the track has been classified as a bridleway, it must be accessible to mounted riders, who must be able to open any gate.  A stile would not be permitted.

The extraordinarily tangled history of this issue can be found here and here.

True to form, the Planning Inspectorate caused puzzlement when people who tried to read the inspector's decision were initially linked instead to a six-page account of a bridleway dispute near Harrogate.

It should be born in mind that this was a modification to the definitive map, rather than a creation order.   This means that the track was always a right of way. Members and others who used the track during the period that  the landowner purported to close it were therefore entitled to do so.

So is this the end of the story?  The landowner could, in fact, still make a challenge in the High Court, on the basis that the procedure had not followed the law, but that does not alter the point made above. The status of the track at present is that it is, and always has been, a right of way.

Two recognised authorities whom I consulted emailed me:

1 Unlike say diversion orders an order under the Wildlife & Countryside Act creates nothing new. But it does confirm that a right of way exists (and, normally, has existed for at least 20 years or had been dedicated at some moment). So until and unless it is set aside (or just possibly when/if an appeal is launched) the right of way can be used by the public. - CB

2 The 2012 Order states that it will take effect "on the date it is confirmed", which is the date of the inspector's final decision - 12 Feb 2015. This is however subject to the right of an aggrieved party to make an application to the high court, and this has to be "within 42 days from the date of publication of the notice under paragraph 11" [of Sch 15 WCA 1981]. Notice in para 11 includes the newspaper advert, site notices and individual notices to affected persons. The best bet is to find the newspaper advert and count 42 days from the date of publication. Then, the order really will be final. - PB

Download order decision and map.

 - 19 February 15

Midweek strolls

Another series of shorter walks is being offered this year, with nine shorter walks - six on Thursdays and three on Wednesdays.

David and Pam Grimwood, and Les and Margaret Atkinson are organising the walks - details of each walk appear on the Events page. - 14 Feb15

The way ahead

A basic navigation course will be held at St Hilda's Church, Ravenscar, on Saturday April 25 from 10am-4pm.

Instruction from Les Atkinson will be followed by an outdoor practical supervised by other committee members.

Bring your own packed lunch, but tea and coffee will be provided,

All are welcome, but book in advance by emailing Les at

For more information, see the event info page. - 14 Feb 15

Bikers threat to footpath

A plan to allow off-road motorcylists freedom to resume wrecking a historic path is being promoted by North Yorkshire County Council.

Only two years ago, there were newspaper headlines after the North York Moors National Park issued a press release headlined Vandals Desecrate Green Lane, condemning off-roaders for ripping up Seggimire Lane, near Sleights. ("Seggimire" is a corruption of "sycamore".)

The surface had been turned into a quagmire and sections of the ancient stone trod had been wrecked.

Sarah Blakemore, the North York Moors National Park Authority’s Access Officer, said at the time: “The surface of the lane and the historic stone trods are now in a very fragile condition and more likely to suffer serious damage by the motorcyclists who regularly use it.”

And Doug Huzzard, Highway Asset Manager for North Yorkshire County Council, said: “Unfortunately we have no option but to close the lane as a result of this inconsiderate and illegal activity by a few thoughtless drivers, whose ‘enjoyment’ of this historic route amounts to little short of vandalism....

“Lanes such as this...are particularly vulnerable to damage from off-road vehicles as a result of the prolonged rainfall of the past few months.  It is highly irresponsible of drivers to use the lanes in these conditions.”

All traffic was banned temporarily from the lane for 18 months, while work was carried out to restore it.

Vegetation was cut back and the path surfaced in 2013. This work was completed by NYMNP, funded by public money from Yorkshire Forward. The parish council also contributed £700.

Then in June last year, the county council's Local Access Forum was told that the council was seeking a permanent ban on vehicles using the route, which includes 300 yards of public footpath net to Iburndale Beck/Little Beck.

In the event, however, the council officers want to allow the bikers back.

Ramblers know that while 4*4 vehicles can cause spectacular damage, off-road bikers are equally troublesome, as their narrower tyres dig deep ruts, which are worsened as other riders see these as a challenge and steer into them.  Many drive at excessive speed.

If there are no objections, the bikers are likely to get clearance to  resume ripping up the lane and endangering and inconveniencing walkers within six months.  Even if opposition is voiced, leading council members can give final approval, as there is no provision for appeals, further hearings or independent review of traffic management orders.

Although signs at each end of Seggimire Lane suggest that the track is currently open only to walkers, cyclists and horse-riders, the county council regards it as part of the "road network".  This would mean that any type of motorised vehicle can currently use the track, and the proposed regulation would, in fact, be a restriction.

The council's map of the footpath at the southern end of the lane (identical to the line shown on the Ordnance Survey 1:25000 map) does not correspond with the route on the ground, which crosses, then recrosses, Little Beck/Iburndale Beck. As the map is not accurate, it could be argued that the council has not complied with the Traffic Orders (Procedure) Regulation. (See note in italics below.)

However, at 1:10000 scale, the online map shows the "road network" identifier to be following the actual line on the ground, whereas the footpath continues to be depicted on the near side of the beck.

To form an appreciation of the reasoning behind the proposal, I emailed the council's Whitby office, asking where I could find supporting documents explaining the background to the proposal, the authority's assessment of the impact of the proposal on the fabric of the lane, maintenance consequences and the provision of additional maintenance to preserve the amenity for pedestrians.

To date, I have received only an automatic acknowledgement.

I re-walked the lane on February 20, and an online album of its condition, using my own photographs and ones taken by Bob Clutson about a week earlier can be viewed here.

The county council's formal notice, map and questionnaire, which objectors can complete and return, can be downloaded here. 

*Dealing with this issue and many others is always hindered by the reluctance of the county council to supply information, or even to acknowledge requests for information, and by the council's policy of ignoring the law to suit its convenience.  In particular, it flouts its obligation to make available a copy of the Definitive Map and the List of Streets for public inspection in each district.  - HLTW 28 January 2015.  Updated 20 February 2015. Updated 27 February 2015

Committee: Coming and going

Adam Brown (membership liaison officer) has resigned to pursue other interests, and Gary Malcolm has been co-opted onto the committee.

Ramblers' future: have your say

A working party has suggested ways to improve the way Ramblers’ groups and areas serve members, and are governed.

Members are being asked to complete a survey about the suggestions by December 31.

The ideas cover 17 A4 sheets, so I have attempted to summarise them below.

To read the full document, click here.

To make your views known by completing the survey, click here.

Under the proposals, groups would decide where their areas of interest lay. 

One group might want to concentrate on rights-of-way maintenance, or organising walks and social events, or monitoring the condition of rights-of-way.

Another group might combine several of these activities.

Members would be free to join more than one group, to satisfy all of their interests, or to remain unattached within the area.

To oversee the new arrangement, area organisation would also be changed.

Instead of the present area council with 14 different officers  (excluding the auditor, president and vice-presidents)  plus group delegates, there would be a leader (who would report to the national chief executive) and treasurer, and two coordinators, one to check that members can find appropriate groups, and one to support group officers and volunteers.

This team would appoint other volunteers as necessary, to co-ordinate groups’ walking programmes, rights-of-way work, and other matters.

The leader would check that the existing groups’ spread of activities enabled all of the Ramblers’ aims to be fulfilled in the area.  If, for instance, the condition of footpaths was not being monitored efficiently, the leader could work out a remedy with existing groups, or consider setting up a new group.

Every year, the groups would report to the leader, demonstrating how well they had fulfilled their purposes.

The area leader, in turn, would report to the national chief executive, detailing the area's success (or failure) in fulfilling national objectives.

Further teams  of regional volunteers would also check how well the areas were functioning and offer support, and would also report to the national chief executive.

The working party that has put forward the ideas will report to the Ramblers’ Board of Trustees, which will make proposals to the General Council next year.

 If, after reading the document, you feel my brief summary should be amended, please email me. - 19 December 2015


Building skills

Free courses for walk leaders and other volunteers are to offered next year in a series of touring workshops. 

The closest venues for us are Doncaster (May 15) and Darlington (September 19).

Full-day topics are Ramblers' Routes (the free route service developed by Central Office), developing area and group plans for volunteering, influencing change in the local area, group treasurer, and promoting the group or area; morning sessions are leading walks (group management skills), and basic rights of way law (changes to the path network); afternoon sessions are leading walks (navigation skills) and rights of way (specialist areas).

There are only ten places on each session, and bookings have already opened.

The full range of venues and courses can be viewed and booked through this link.

Our chairman, Phil Trafford, said:
"Last year, The Ramblers ran training days throughout the country on various aspects of the voluntary jobs that members undertake to keep the association running and enhance access for all to the countryside. The event in York was attended by several of our committee, who enjoyed the day and learnt more about their specific roles on the committee."

inquiries can be made to or by calling 020 7339 8595 between 0930 and 1730.
- December 2 2014.

Potash boss welcomed to AGM

The firm planning a £1 billion potash mine near Whitby has already spent £100m on the project, and expects to receive no income for at least four years, our annual meeting heard last night.

Mr Matt Parsons, the External Affairs Manager of York Potash, (pictured with Bob Clutson) said they aimed to become one of the world's top five potash firms, and that the mine could have a 100-year life-span.

Twenty members, and a representative of East Yorkshire and Derwent Area Council, attended the meeting at the Friends' Meeting House, Scarborough.

Mr Parsons showed slides demonstrating the limited impact on the appearance of the surroundings of the minehead - close to Red Gate, a mile south of Sneaton in the North York Moors National Park - and the tops of two winding shafts that will be located between the mine and Teesside. These shafts will be above a deep tunnel that transfers the ore on a conveyor belt.

Applications would be made for some rights of way to be temporarily diverted during and after construction, he said.

York Potash is currently awaiting decisions on its applications for planning permission.

*Since the meeting, Mr Parsons has written to our chairman, Phil Trafford, providing links to documents that give detailed insight into the proposals.

Our chairman, Phil Trafford, and footpaths secretary, Les Atkinson, read reports.  Phil's report, and mine as webmaster are attached, as is the financial report by our treasurer, Dave Grimwood, who said we had received £240 in donations, including £140 in commission from Ramblers' Worldwide Holidays. 

The rambles organiser, Tricia Mumford, said that in the past year, there had been 50 Sunday walks, led by 11 different leaders, with an average distance of 10.25 miles, and an average 19 walkers.  The nine Thursday walks had eight leaders, with an average of 5.7 miles and eight walkers.

The footpaths secretary, Les Atkinson, reported that the annual budget for the North York Moors National Park had been cut from £8m to £5.3m, with a consequent reduction in manpower.  He said the group's footpaths maintenance work in the national park could release the authority's personnel for other tasks, and he was seeking more engagements.  Full report.

Officers 2014-15: chairman Phil Trafford, secretary Pam Grimwood, treasurer Dave Grimwood, footpath secretary Les Atkinson, minutes secretary Robert Clutson, rambles organiser Tricia Mumford, members liaison Adam Brown, webmaster Harry Whitehouse, committee Ray Johnson and Margaret Atkinson. *After the meeting, Harry Whitehouse offered to fill the vacant role of area council rep.

Next year's AGM will be held on Thursday November 26 at the same venue. -
28 November 2014. Amended 18 December 2014.

Peak District camp

The Derbyshire Peak District will be the venue for the East Yorkshire and Derwent RA area camp from Friday June 12 to Monday June 15, 2015.

We will be based at Greenacres Campsite, Nether Booth, Edale, S33 7ZH.

As this year, tent campers, caravans, motorhomes, B&Bers and day visitors will all be welcome.  Edale Youth Hostel is also nearby.

Greenacres is set in a very scenic spot, adjacent to Kinder Scout.

We are planning 10-mile led walks on Saturday and Sunday, and early-bird and final-day shorter walks for Friday and Monday.  Details of possible shorter walks will be available, for those who prefer, on Saturday and Sunday.

Current nightly fees at the site are £5 per adult plus £2 per car for campers or motorhomes (minimum £10 a night total), and caravanners pay £14 a night per van, plus £4 for electricity and £2 for an awning. Space for caravans is limited, so booking with the site (01433 670375 Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm) is advised.

There is no need for tent campers to book with the site, as we will deal with these arrangements.

The organisers are Harry Whitehouse and Phil Trafford - to register your interest, please contact Harry on 01723 375770 or email him. - 8 November 2014.

Potash boss at AGM

The External Affairs Manager of the firm planning a £1 billion potash mine will be the guest speaker at our annual meeting on Thursday November 27.

York Potash is seeking planning permission for the mine, which it says will create 1,000 direct jobs, and pour millions of pounds into the local economy.

The firm aims to exploit the thickest and highest grade known potash ore reserve in the world, producing material for agricultural fertiliser.

Output from the mine, to be sunk near Whitby, is now planned to be transported by underground conveyor to Teesside, where it will be loaded onto ships.

Our guest at the annual meeting, Mr Matt Parsons (above), will talk about the implications for rights of way in the area, and will then take questions.

Mr Parsons was recruited by York Potash two years ago from Scarborough Borough Council, where he was Employment and Skills Manager.

The meeting, at the Friends' Meeting House, Quaker Close, Scarborough, starts at 7.30pm. - 10 October 2014

Area chairman resigns

The chairman of Ramblers' East Yorkshire and Derwent Area, Dany Wlodarczyk, has resigned after a complaint about the content of the latest Area News.

The area walks programme compiler, Roy Hunt, circulated an email expressing surprise that "so much of Area News had been hijacked by an anti-fracking group."

Dany became chairman while editor of the newsletter.  She appealed for a volunteer to take over Area News, but no one came forward, so she continued with both jobs.

On the front page of the current Area News, Dany said Ramblers would need to keep a close eye on any local applications for oil and gas exploration.

She mentioned concerns about possible risks from fracking, quoted Ramblers' national policy, acknowledged that there would be a range of views on the issue, and invited comments.

On an inside page, there is a half-page article by a member of  Hull and Holderness Group, Louise Castro, who has been taking part in an anti-fracking protest camp - despite the fact that the firm investigating the site say there are no plans for fracking there.
Louise contrasts her opinion of the appearance of Pipers Lane, Marton, before and after exploration for oil and gas began there.

She concludes: "The environmental impact on the nature and wildlife of the above-ground activity alone is too high a price to pay for man's greed and dash for gas."

On page 4, there is a further article by two anti-fracking members.

Dany announced that she was resigning because, she believed, she had made an error of judgment, and had lost the confidence of some area committee members, and a group committee.

Area News is archived on this site's Resources page. -
3 October 2014

Keeping in touch

The committee's newest member, Adam Brown, has been appointed membership liaison officer, to help build and maintain links within the group.

Adam will develop the role himself, but his suggested brief is to help ensure that newcomers on walks are looked after; that telephone numbers and email addresses are collected from them for follow-ups; that people who suddenly “disappear” are contacted to see if there are problems that can be resolved; to ensure that membership details are brought to the attention of those who have attended two or three walks; and that people who inquire about attending, but never do, are followed-up; etc. 

Adam attends most walks, but when he is absent, walk leaders are being asked to make a point of collecting names, phone numbers and email addresses, from newcomers. - 15 June 14

MP joins Hackness walk

A wide range of terrain and topics were covered when Scarborough's MP, Mr Robert Goodwill, joined us for Sunday's walk from Hackness.

Led by Bob Clutson, the party's ten-mile route from Hackness took us via Silpho and Surgate Brow, where brilliant clear sky presented a 22-mile view to Flamborough Head.

Many of the walkers discussed current countryside issues with Mr Goodwill, who was accompanied by his wife, Maureen.  Although she was brought up in the Hackness area, much of Sunday's route was new to Mrs Goodwill. The couple told us how much they had enjoyed the outing.

A senior policy officer from the ramblers' national HQ, Mr Eugene Suggett, also attended, and spoke to Mr Goodwill about footpath issues concerning the proposed high-speed rail line, HS2.

Our chairman, Phil Trafford, said:  "It's very valuable to have an MP who has such a keen interest in countryside affairs.

"We gained a extra insight into the work and responsibilities of our local MP, and we are very grateful to Mr and Mrs Goodwill for taking such an interest in our activities."

Mr Goodwill said later that he was pleased to hear that such a good relationship existed locally between landowners and ramblers.

"I was, however, concerned to hear that some rights of way are being churned up to the point of being impassable because of the activities of 4x4 drivers.  I look forward to working with ramblers both as a local MP and in my capacity as a Transport Minister," he said.

Eugene Hackett's blog on national RA website.- 14.4.14, updated 25.4.14 and 29.4.14

Shropshire outing planned

Richard Bedford's latest rambling getaway is planned for Shropshire in October.

The four-night outing (Sunday 26th-Wednesday 29th inclusive) would be based in Ironbridge, regarded as the heart of the Industrial Revoluton.

Day 1. Explore the town, visiting Telford's bridge and visit Blists Hill, the reconstructed living Victorian town.
Day 2. A 10-11mile ramble in the hills around the Stretton Valley;
Day 3. Visit Ludlow, with its castle and mediaeval buildings.
For more information and an accommodation list, phone Richard on 01723 586434 or email him.

Summer leaders needed

Rambles organiser Tricia Mumford is seeking leaders for the annual programme of summer evening short walks.

The programme will run on Tuesday evenings from 27th May to 5th August (11 evenings in all) starting at 7pm and aiming to finish about 9pm (9.30 at the latest) so should be around 4-5 miles. They should also be within easy reach of Scarborough.

Volunteers should email Tricia giving preferred dates, starting point (preferably with grid reference) approximate distance and whether dogs are allowed.

Tricia needs entries as soon as possible, and by 30 April at the latest  - 10 April 2014

F*** by F*** louts abuse ramblers

Scarborough Ramblers were subjected to foul language from people accompanying a pair of 4*4 vehicles stuck in mud on a "green" lane over Three Howes, near Harwood Dale on Sunday.

One of the vehicles was a 1995 Jeep Cherokee.

The track has been churned up by 4*4s to the point at which it is dangerous for responsible users of the countryside.

Bob Clutson and others have reported the damaged tracks to the North York Moors NPA and the Ramblers' Association.

Ladies were among the walkers who heard the abuse from the 4*4 crews, whose language, said one witness, was "more than blue". It is not suggested that individuals on the photographs were responsible for the abuse.

On Monday, the NYMNPA assigned a ranger to investigate the damage, and also referred it to North Yorkshire County Council, which has responsibility for the lanes.  (These appear on Ordnance Survey maps as "other routes with public access" (ORPAs).  In most cases, the actual public rights have not been defined, and the only definite right of way is on foot.  However, they generally also appear on the county's List of Streets, which means that the county council is responsible for maintaining them. - Pictures by Bob Clutson.

- 6.4.14, updated 8.4.14
















Island Farm no longer marooned

A section of Washbeck Road - an old track that runs from the A171 to Brown Rigg Road in Staintondale - is now open to walkers, despite strenuous opposition from the landowner.

Scarborough RA members were walking the track recently, when they discovered that smart new gates had been fitted at either end of the disputed section.  This runs from, SE 984980 to 983983, close to Island Farm.

As an ORPA, the exact status of Wash Beck Road is undefined.  All that can be said with certainty is that there is a legal right to walk on it - 10.3.14


Pictures by Bob Clutson

Folkton bridleway merry-go-round

The bid to establish a right of way along the route of an old road has taken a new twist.

In November, a public inquiry was held into the plan, which was opposed by the owner of the adjacent land.

The inspector who ran the inquiry has issued an interim confirmation of the order, but has proposed narrowing the planned bridleway from 6.1m (19ft 10in)  to 3.5m (11ft 4in).

He asks for comments or objections about the change of width.  As his interim order considers factors that were not raised at the inquiry, he also invites arguments and objections about these issues.

It has been suggested by one commentator that if any fresh issues are raised, this could lead to the appeal process being re-opened, even possibly leading to a further public inquiry.

The track forms part of the old Fordon road from Folkton.  Although the modern line continues as a public footpath past Fordon Wold Farm, historically there was a route that went further west, past the former Flixton Quarry to join the road that runs west of Danebury Manor.

Expert rights of way commentator Chris Beney said that as the inspector had given no reason for proposing a width of 3.5m, this was open to challenge.

"Is he thinking of the judge who said a path should be wide enough for 'two persons to pass without quarrelling' and then extending it to horses?" he asked.

"Alan Kind in 'Notes…on the widths of public rights of way rev 16 Jan 2012' says a horse can easily be 4ft rider's toe to rider's toe, and that is consistent with the statutory 5ft bridle gate gap. So anything less than 10ft could easily lead to 'quarrelling'. 10ft is just over 3 metres and on the face of it not inconsistent with the proposed 3.5 metres but allows only a tiny amount of sway and allows for stumble not at all.

"Neither does it consider walkers on the bridleway, especially with young children. If the children are young they all need to stay together and a five foot gap between a big nervous horse and a fence can be pretty scary. And if fenced there is very likely undergrowth or nettles beside the fence," said Mr Benoy.

He pointed out that The Rights of Way review Committee planning guidance note 6, says:

Where ways are not enclosed, footpaths should be of a minimum width of 2 metres and bridleways and byways 3.5 metres.  If the way is to be enclosed by fencing, hedging or buildings then footpaths should be of a minimum width of 4 metres and bridleways and byways 6 metres.

"The logic of that is not stated but one may suppose that in the unfenced case one can be assumed to be able to step well outside the legal width for safety reasons.

"Perhaps that is where the inspector got his 3.5 metres from.

"But who is to say whether a way will not be enclosed at some time by fences or hedges? It would be unusual indeed if that could be said with certainty.

"Alan Kind quotes a case in his paper and I myself have seen cross-field paths enclosed. So the (fenced) figure of six metres would apply on the basis that this is a reasonable figure where there are not any reasons to believe otherwise.

"On top of this the fact of 20ft being in the award must reasonably be supposed to have been considered reasonable at the time even if it did not have validity in law," said Mr Beney.

*Mr Beney's commentary is reproduced from the Ramblers-FP message board.

Notification letter   Formal notice  The interim order  Order map - 21 February 14, revised 24 February 14.

Camping in Swaledale

The area camping weekend, from Friday June 6 to Monday June 9, will be held at Usha Gap campsite (NGR SD 902 979). 

This site ( is in a beautiful location beside the River Swale, half a mile by footpath or road from Thwaite and Muker. 

It has toilets, showers and a clothes dryer. 

Scarborough members Harry Whitehouse and Phil Trafford are the joint organisers. They will be organising full day walks on Saturday and Sunday, and shorter ones on Friday afternoon and Monday morning for early birds/late stayers. 

The Farmer's Arms pub in Muker is walker-friendly, there is a shop and tea-room in Muker, and the megalopolis of Hawes is a short drive away. 

The campsite also accepts caravans and motorhomes (but there are no electric hook-ups). 

Camping costs  £6 per adult, plus £2 per car, per night.  Caravans cost £15, and motorhomes £13. 

Bookings at the site are not necessary, but I do need to know if you will be attending, as I have agreed to liaise with the site. 

If anyone would prefer to use bed-and-breakfast, and join the group for walks and socialising, the Kearon Country Hotel in Thwaite (, 01748 886277), or in Muker  the shop (01748 886409), Swale Farm (01748 886479) or Chapel House (01748 886822) may oblige.  

You are, of course, welcome to attend for 1, 2, 3 or 4 days. 

If you are interested, or if you know of anyone who might be, please email or phone (07535 892131) Harry, to be added to the circulation list. - 20.1.14