News to 2013
Opinions, where expressed, are
those of the Webmaster or of other identified individuals,
and not of the Scarborough group of the Ramblers' Association
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
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
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
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
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.
Explore the town, visiting Telford's bridge and visit Blists Hill, the
reconstructed living Victorian town.
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
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
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
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.
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
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
campsite also accepts caravans and motorhomes (but there are no electric
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.
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.
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