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Monday, 26 March 2012

Tunstall Again and FP176 Trubbles

from dowfold hill

There were nineteen of us (nananana nineteen) on Saturday afternoon’s six mile guided walk from Wolsingham to Tunstall and back. It was a nice, warm summer day and there were lots of new lambs in the fields and the curlew’s were curlewing and so on…  And we seem to have managed to attract one or two new walkers, so that was good too..

tunstall lambs

But Kathy, the steward, told me about some problems with a  path at Crook which she intended to use as a Health walk for one of the local villages (I think she said it was West Auckland, though I might be wrong) – and this path was one of my adopt-a-path paths and also one I’d used on a guided walk  a short while ago) – So, on Sunday, I went for a look.

fp176 fp108 008

A stile on Footpath 176 had indeed been barricaded off with barbed wire and the stile removed, AND the signpost altered so it no longer pointed in the direction of the path, and the gate replaced with a smaller one which was padlocked with (wait for it…) a  padlock.

Apparently, Kathy and her group had been approached by a woman from the farm up the field with the well-known phrase “Do you know you’re on private land?” (I don’t think she said “Can I help you?”. What she didn’t know, of course, was that Kathy is a Ranger  and knows all about definitive maps, their legal status, the responsibilities of landowners and the names of several friendly individuals in the rights of way office at County Hall.

So, I wasn’t all that surprised that the barbed wire had been clipped. However, this isn’t really good enough and, whilst the gate is easy to climb over, and the signpost was stroked back into position by me and a big lump of timber, the stile needs to go back.

I’ll be keeping an eye on this one I think. Its a nice walk anyway, finishing as it does over Dowfold Hill which has really good long-distance views and a few of those squiggly brown countoury things.

9 comments:

Jules said...

And the moral of the sory is: Landowners, don't make yourself look like an arse challenging a Ranger on the whereabouts of a ROW.

Cheers Mike, not laughed so much in a while!

Alan Sloman said...

Of course, if you can run to the expense of a new padlock and chain there is always the option of persuading the landowner to mend her ways: Padlock the gate to her home with a note requesting the removal of the obstructions to the footpath. That removal would lead to the removal of your padlock...

You can then use the same padlock & chain on the next beggars home who blocks a footpath.

Mike Knipe said...

News from the rights of way peeps (aka Nick) indicates that this issue might not be a trubble for too much longer.

John J said...

I've just spent a quiet 15 minutes on t'interweb looking for (ideally lightweight) cutters suitable for barbed wire.

It seems the lightest and cheapest option is to stick with my existing equipment: a junior hacksaw with a couple of spare blades.

JJ

words: Offas aratit

I say.

Yasmine Hamid said...

OK, I give up: how do I find out what number a footpath is? typing "FP176" into google just brings up the Northern Pies blog!

Mike Knipe said...

I'm not sure I'm "officially" allowed to snip, John. Although its Ok to snip twigs and branches, so.....
Yasmine : You need to look at http:/durham.gov.uk/definitivemap and look for Crook and zoom in to see the path numbers. Each parish's footpaths and bridleways have official numbers as recorded on the definitive map.

Yasmine Hamid said...

Thanks - that's a useful feature for identifying footpaths. I've just taken a look at the boundary map, and I was pleased to see that footpath 176 is the one I thought it was. I was hoping the map would show the diversions/closures around Roddymoor where someone has rather thoughtlessly placed an opencast mine, but alas it doesn't. I'll have to find out the hard way then :P

Yasmine Hamid said...

definitive map, even

Mike Knipe said...

I don't know what the status is at the Park Wall mine; which gives me something to do, innit? It'll be somewhere different for a doggy walk.
The other way to find out is to ask the rights of way peeps at the council. Everybody has a right to info about the definitive map including temporary diversions/closures.
But its more fun to go and see...