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
Island Farm no longer marooned
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 I 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