A £300,000 plan to survey every path in
England and Wales will be launched by the Ramblers in June.
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
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.
representatives from our area have been chosen to attend a detailed
briefing in Birmingham.
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
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
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.
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. -
A plan to allow off-road motorcylists freedom to
resume wrecking a historic path is being promoted by North Yorkshire County
Only two years ago, there were newspaper headlines after the North York
Moors National Park issued a press release headlined
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
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
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.)
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
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
The county council's formal notice, map and
questionnaire, which objectors can complete and return, can be
*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
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
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
Instead of the present area
council with 14 different officers(excluding the auditor, president and
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
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
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
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
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
The full range of venues and courses can be viewed and booked through
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."
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
Twenty members, and a representative of East Yorkshire and Derwent Area
Council, attended the meeting at the Friends' Meeting House,
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.
Potash is currently awaiting decisions on its applications for planning
*Since the meeting, Mr Parsons has written to our chairman, Phil
links to documents that give detailed insight into the proposals.
Our chairman, Phil Trafford, and footpaths secretary, Les Atkinson, read
report, and mine as
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'
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
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.
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
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.
are Harry Whitehouse and Phil Trafford - to register your interest,
please contact Harry on 01723 375770 or
-8 November 2014.
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
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
mentioned concerns about possible risks from fracking,
quoted Ramblers' national policy, acknowledged that
there would be a range of views on the issue, and
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
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
The committee's newest
member, Adam Brown, has been appointed membership liaison officer, to
help build and maintain links within the group.
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.
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
15 June 14
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
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
Mr Goodwill said later
that he was pleased to hear that such a good relationship existed
locally between landowners and ramblers.
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.
Bedford's latest rambling getaway is planned for Shropshire in October.
four-night outing (Sunday 26th-Wednesday 29th inclusive) would be based
in Ironbridge, regarded as the heart of the Industrial Revoluton.
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.
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
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.
the vehicles was a 1995 Jeep Cherokee.
track has been churned up by 4*4s to the point at which it is dangerous
for responsible users of the countryside.
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
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.
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
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
"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
"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.
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
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
"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.
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 (ushagap.co.uk)
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.
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
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 (keartoncountryhotel.co.uk,
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
or phone (07535 892131) Harry, to be added to the circulation list.