Buy any Ordnance Survey map and you will find a network of dotted lines, signifying public rights of way.
Walking around the coastline of the UK is a challenge in itself. What makes it even more difficult?
Here are some of the problems I have encountered:
- ‘secret’ footpaths, where signposts have mysteriously vanished
- neglected footpaths, covered in brambles or nettles, or invisible because overgrown with long grasses
- farmers who churn up the paths with tractors, making it impossible to walk along them
- footpaths leading to streams or stiles with no way across because planks have rotted or disappeared
- misleading “Private – Keep out” signs, despite the path being clearly marked on the map as a right of way, particularly where land owners appear to have taken over the natural route of the footpath
And, most frustratingly, when I discover a problem with a footpaths:
- no obvious way to report the problem easily
- nobody willing to take responsibility
So the easiest thing to do is to shut up and put up?
Or should we be mounting a campaign to protect our rights of way and reclaim our access routes?
Since I originally wrote this post, I have been doing a number of things:
Some activities I am considering doing:
Postcards to Councils:
I could send a postcard to the relevant council when I have enjoyed a walk. And when I haven’t. In fact, why don’t I send a postcard to the council after every walk I do?
The Ramblers Association provides an electronic postcard and will make sure the card gets to the right address and the right council.
But would a personal postcard, sent the traditional way, have more impact?