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..
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.
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.