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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

FP176 - That Wasn’t Much of a Fight…

path through crops co durham
Some readers may or may not remember that back in the summer (which was in March this year) there was a certain amount of kerfuffle concerning Footpath 176 in the Parish of Crook and Willington. This kerfuffle involved the landowner removing a stile, wiring up the fence with barbed wire, knocking the footpath sign out of alignment (allegedly) and telling a passing ranger that there was no right of way here…
This lead to representations from the Rights of Way Department at the County Council and, at one point, me whacking the footpath sign with a lump of wood so that it pointed the right way.
fp108 before
As I last walked this path back in February, it was now time to do it again. This was part of a seven mile route which circles Crook and visits completes eight public footpaths.
So, I was more than chuffed and quite a bit surprised to find that when I entered the land containing the hindered FP108, the first thing I found was a brand new stile. Then another. And some new fencing and , yet another new stile replacing the one done away with last March. This was still fresh and the fencing gang were still there. “How do you like the new stile?” said Boss Fencer, seeing my green Rangering t-shirt. “Its very nice. And so are all the others…”
I didn’t take a picture since this would have seemed like bad manners at the time. But showing the flag at a crucial point like that was lucky but showed that people have their eye on the paths around there.
So that’s all good.
sign on crook golf course - before sign on crook golf course - after
Other good things were that none of the paths were blocked and the ones through crops had a nice gap in the crops. The derelict sign on Crook Golf Course had been replaced and there were other new marker posts and, at the top of the hill, a brand spanking new gate/stile.
new stile dowfold hill
There was a bit of a problem with vegetation along the way, but by the time anybody got around to strimming this, it would be on it’s way to dying back. The routes just need a bit more traffic, so leading guided walks around here (there’s one at Christmas), might help and I’m aware that Walking for Health groups also use some of the paths.
So, I’m chuffed. There’s significant improvements to these paths.  I might visit Crook Boozerama to celebrate.
There are other challenges around the place, though…. 

3 comments:

Louise said...

Oo, you're 'ard you are! Bet that feels good, some landowners do need a stern reminder at times. Must remember that when I win the lottery ;-D

Dawn said...

Fantastic Mike, obviously you take no prisoners! Keep up the good work.

Jules said...

Brilliant result, Mike.

And a good recommendation for the system - we run a similar one down here in Northants where volunteers (like me) monitor a set of paths, report any problems in and can keep on top of them to see the contractors/landowners do their bit in reasonable time.