Congratulations to Judy Trafford, who wrote the Star Letter published in the new edition of Walk magazine.
Judy reported that her family sponsored a commemorative gate in the North York Moors National Park, in memory of her friend and walking companion, Maddie, who died this year. (Judy heard about the scheme at the group annual meeting in November.)
She won a camping stove, vacuum bottle and meal set worth £158. - 26 May 17
Richard Bedford writes: There are currently six of us, travelling by car, leaving on the 13th September and using the Channel Tunnel. We shall have 3 nts at a hotel just south of Calais, before moving on to a village near the town of Laon, in the Somme department, some 140 miles south east of Calais.
We have a mixture of walks and visits to places of interest planned, some of which will take place on the way back to Calais, as we are having our 7th night back at our first hotel.
have now booked the hotel accommodation and the average cost per person over the 6 day stay is around 86 euros half-board per day. The last night will work out about the same. If anybody else is interested in this trip, it would be best for them to contact me asap, as our second hotel has only nine rooms and there is the question of transport.
Last year, a group of us enjoyed a very pleasant stay in Northern France-this is simply to ask if there is any interest in a follow-on trip this year. I have been looking at various possibilities with Gary, whose assistance in preparing last year's visit was much appreciated.
Travel by car to N. France in one day via the Channel Tunnel for a 2 base stay - first, at the coast south of Calais, scope for coastal walks and sites of historic interest, particularly WW2. Then to Laon, mediaeval town in the Somme and around 140mls from Calais, easily accessed via the A26 motorway.
Channel Tunnel fares are shared between driver and passengers, as the cost is for the vehicle, not the individual passengers.
Contact: 01723 586434 or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org - 9 March 17
Attending from Scarborough group: Phil (chairman), Gary (treasurer), Gill.
Everyone has this idea that agms are dull affairs. Well, whilst not in the category of thrill of the century, Phil and I both agreed that the area agm was worth attending.
The main thing is that whilst most of us in Scarborough Ramblers just walk within our own group, going to the area agm reminds you that there are other groups not so far away with their own unique personnel and ways of going about things. In other words, it can be a valuable learning experience.
So what happened? Well, Phil and I got to Burnby Hall car park about 10.10am. There was a woman in the car next to ours putting her boots on and being a naturally friendly and welcoming member of the Ramblers, I said ‘Hi’ to her and gave her one of my Frankenstein smiles, then suddenly realised I was talking to Ramblers royalty,
Kate Ashbrook, legendary footpath campaigner (some of you may remember the battle with Nicholas van Hoogstraten some years ago who decided ramblers were not going to pass on a footpath going through his land and blocked the paths with razor wire and discarded refrigerators….yes, that was Kate’s fight), ex-President of the Ramblers and now trustee (see her photograph with Tony Corrigan, area webmaster of Pocklington Group) and guest speaker at the agm. She was putting on her boots because agms in this area at least are generally preceded by short walks.
After the walk and a quick lunch and a bit of networking the agm commenced, chaired by Roy Hunt, area chairman. Present was a full time support worker just appointed by Ramblers with the main aim of supporting failing groups in the north of England. (not that we were failing, we were later assured!) There followed the usual agm business, the chairman’s and treasurer’s reports, the election of officers ( largely the same as last year), etc. We voted ( and agreed ) on a motion to put to the annual ramblers conference in Southampton in April that we do not agree with Cycling UK’s bid to open up most footpaths to cyclists (could get a bit crowded ). We voted 2 delegates to the national conference and one visitor who does not have voting rights.
.After a break, with more networking (it's just like work!), Kate Ashbrook gave a talk on what Ramblers central office is up to . In brief:
1.We have further funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery for a walking festival in 2018. Groups should give thought as to how they might contribute to the festival.
2. There are 27000 volunteers of one sort or another in Ramblers ( out of a total membership of 100,000 approx)
3. There are inaugural days for new chairpersons/secretaries.
4. If you want to become a trustee of the national organisation, put your name forward. There are hustings and elections at the national agm.
5. There is an all day (9.30am to 4pm) Ramblers' roadshow at Leeds Beckett University on Saturday 18
th March 2017 to which any rambler can go (you need to book a place online from the Ramblers website) This will cover core topics of interest to members such as rights of way, how to lead a walk, first aid, etc.
6.There is an all day course in Darlington on Saturday 4
th March 2017 on Rights of Way ( booking required) This is designed to improve members’ ability to make definitive map modification order applications to ensure that routes that would be extinguished in 2026 are saved from the cut-off date.
7. Ramblers are heavily involved with the Walking for Health scheme. Two thirds of adults in this country do not meet the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines on physical activity and walking can help to change this.
8. The most popular leisure activity of ramblers apart from walking is gardening.
East Yorkshire and Derwent Ramblers
Area council meeting
Wetwang Village Hall
7.30pm 13th December 2016
Report from Scarborough group secretary Gary Malcolm.
I went with Dave (Grimwood ) on a very foggy night across the Wolds. We almost turned back the visibility was so bad but we suddenly emerged from the gloom at Driffield and decided to continue the last five miles or so.
The area council consists of elected officers and representatives from Ramblers groups and affiliated groups in the area who choose to turn up. There were about 12 of us sat around a big table with Roy Hunt at the front as the area chairman ( Roy came to our own agm a few weeks ago and is also a national trustee of Ramblers)
The minutes are available elsewhere so I am only going to summarise the points I noted or found interesting;
Paths not on the definitive maps need to be notified before 2026 to local councils with the appropriate evidence or they will cease to be rights of way forever. Tony Corrigan has been on a course with BHS ( not the recently demised retail chain, but British Horse Society ) who have put on some really good courses on how to identify and notify paths Apparently BHS groups are going at it ‘hammer and tong’ in this process and put many ramblers groups to shame. Since doing the course Tony has notified about a dozen paths to East Riding council. He said he would email to us one of the notifications to be used as a template for our own efforts. Discussion followed on whether the whole issue of notification should be co-ordinated at an area level and we will discuss this further at future meetings. Paths that can be notified include access roads.
The chairman , Roy Hunt, raised the issue of the high drop out rate amongst first year members. Apparently some 55% of people who join the ramblers do not renew after the first year. Roy thinks the answer may be to stress to new members the importance of the work Ramblers does to keep footpaths open and hopes this will persuade more people to retain their membership to support the work of the Ramblers in this respect.. He proposes that each group writes to each new member 2 months before their first year’s membership is due to end to emphasise the work the Ramblers does to keep the nation’s footpath network open. This will be an experiment or trial and may or may not work!
The 2016 Wolds walking festival had been very successful and brought much business to the area. The 2017 Wolds Walking Festival will take place between 9th and 17th September 2017.
Area had £12,087 in the bank at 30th November 2016 and this is slowly going down as it is not a good idea to have too much money in the account.
Following Pathwatch 2016, there will be a Pathwatch 2017. It is possible that there will be a national system for identifying and making clear problems with paths, possibly financed by Ordnance Survey who have a lot of spare money.
Coneythorpe car park is presently closed, this is a popular starting point for
Ramblers walks. Whether it will re-open to the public is questionable. The matter has been taken up with Castle Howard estate who have said the main car park next to the house is available but this is too far from footpaths we generally use.
The area agm is on 28th January 2017 at Burnby Hall, Pocklington at 2pm. The speaker is Kate Ashbrook, Vice President of Ramblers and general secretary of the Open Spaces Society. She should be on the walk on the next day which will be about 6 miles , starting at 10.30am
The next council meeting is on 21st February 2017 at Wetwang Village Hall at 7.30pm.
Tony Corrigan of Pocklington group is seeking responses to a questionnaire from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, about the proposed restoration of a dew pond on the wolds.
He writes: "It will be on open access land in and around Fridaythorpe and Thixendale. The YWT map is still in draft, as locations are not yet finalised.
Their application must be submitted by the year end.
"If approved, the project work will commence in April 2017 and YWT are keen to promote the dew ponds as part of themed local walks, hopefully with a couple during the summer.
"As you are aware this part of the Yorkshire Wolds is very popular in our led walks programme and having seen YWT's provisional plan I can say the dew ponds will not be far from our usual routes."
(Dew ponds are shallow depressions created to provide water for livestock. Despite their name, almost all of the water comes from rainfall. Above is an overgrown one near Gritts Farm, off the Fridaythorpe-Thixendale Road - clearly not the one in mind, as this is not on access land.)
Tony needs replies no later than December 8. The form can be downoaded here. - 2 December 16
A get-together to encourage walkers interested in leading walks, and to support existing leaders, will be held at the Friends' Meeting House, Quaker Close, Scarborough YO12 5QZ, on Saturday 26 November, from 10am to noon.
The first session will brief would-be leaders, and provide answers to any queries.
Following this, there will be a discussion of Central Office guidance, and leaders will be invited to put forward ideas and suggestions based on their experience.
For further information, call 07801 843890. - 30 October 16
Margaret Ingham of Snainton, a member of Ramblers since 1948, has died.
She was best known in recent years for leading fortnightly Thursday walks that ended with lunch at a pub.
Margaret, who was 84, said with pride that she had never been lost, because, she claimed, on the rare occasions when she was unsure of her precise whereabouts, she was always able to get back on track without her temporary uncertainty becoming apparent.
Her natural talent for finding her way was particularly noteworthy because of the antiquity of her maps, although she often expressed an intention to replace them. One regular member of her parties assisted by inquiring in advance where she intended to walk, then photocopying his own maps for her use.
Margaret began leading regularly in the early 1950s, and from then remained quite determinedly the leader of any walks on her programme, until ill-health made it too difficult for her to cover her customary distances. In later years, she was invariably accompanied by at least one of her dogs, Bracken and Poppy.
She led in the UK and in several European countries for the Holiday Fellowship, and also organised private walking holidays for her friends.
Margaret was for years a volunteer warden for the North York Moors National Park, regularly covering up to 14 miles a day on solo patrols of moorland. Only a few years ago, when meeting a park officer in Rosedale, she was told she had an open invitation to return.
Those who attended her midweek walks were always invited to her home for a memorable Christmas party.
In 2014, she asked me to show her the sights of Tripsdale, and she happily waded across the ford and trampled through the bracken, as she, for once, consented to be led.
Pictured at the Shipstone are (from left) Anne Thornton, Margaret, Elizabeth Prest, and Margaret's son Paul.
I felt it a privilege to know such a capable, feisty and kind-hearted lady, who introduced me to many of my favourite spots,
A funeral service will be held at Octon Crematorium on Monday June 20. - 9 June 2016
Hard times ahead for walkers on Cinder Track?
Plans are afoot to change the surface of the Cinder Track - the 21-mile route of the former railway line between Scarborough and Whitby - to safeguard the track, and to increase its attractiveness to cyclists. But there are fears that walkers could face a hard time.
The public were invited to make their views known in a survey that ended in February, and based on that, the charity Sustrans (best known for its work in promoting cycling routes) put forward a plan, in cooperation with Scarborough Borough Council, the North York Moors NPA and the Groundwork charity.
The public were asked to comment on this - an exhibition was staged at Scarborough Town Hall in early May - and as a result a second draft will be published next month.
More than 80% of the people who completed a survey said they used the path on foot, and about 60% said they cycled on it.
Almost 80% said the surface needed improvement.
Inspections have found problems with water drainage from the track, and it is feared that erosion of the surface will increase.
Comprehensive safeguard and development work has been proposed, with improvements to the camber and adjacent ditches, and wet areas and ponds at the sides.
Other problems are being caused by trees falling over, obstructing the track, and by other trees growing into the drainage channels.
The plan suggests work to discourage motorcyclists and improper vehicle use, but improvements to access for walkers and cyclists.
The latest draft report states: "During consultations the surface of the Cinder Track is the feature that most people want improving.
"One of the aims of this plan is to improve the route so that it can be marketed and used all year by the local community and visitors alike.
"Unless the surface of the route is improved this cannot be done and the route will remain accessible to only some people."
However, our group committee is concerned that the planned improvements will make the surface less attractive and comfortable for walkers.
References are made in the draft report to "sealing" the surface, and photographs of tracks in other areas show a smooth, apparently hard topcoat.
No mention is made in the document of specific surfaces to be applied to the Cinder Track, but an appendix states that the default materials used by Sustrans are dense bitumen macadam or hot-rolled asphalt.
Various possible objections to these materials are mentioned, such as the possibility of horses finding them too slippy, but no reference is made to a possible clash with walkers' interests.
One group committee member who attended the June meeting said later: "The general feeling was that tarmac may be all very well for cyclists but it would not be a good surface for walking.
"While tarmac may be appropriate for short sections that may be used by farm vehicles, in general the committee are opposed to tarmac.
"We would like individual members to oppose the use of tarmac on a large scale in the scheme by making a representation on the web, on the basis that 20 objections may be better than one."
The appendix dealing with surfacing has been archived here.
Other documents, including very interesting discussions of the track's individual sections, are available (at the time of writing), here.
The above page also has a link to this survey form, which will allow members (albeit rather late in the day) to make any views known. - 5 June 16
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 www.Ramblers.org.uk/volunteer 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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
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 (Philip.email@example.com).
We can then arrange a meeting to discuss how to
proceed and, hopefully, come up with a plan of
action. - 5 March 16
About a dozen off-road motorcyclists and a quadbike rider caused problems for members of a Scarborough group Sunday
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
In addition to reporting riders for
prosecution, the police can now seize the machines and scrap them for
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.
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
firstname.lastname@example.org - 25 June 15
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
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
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.
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."
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
*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. -
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.