Peak & Northern Footpaths Society (est.1894)

The View from the Chair

David Hurrell

This article is from Signpost 51, July 2016

Walking around the Peak District and ambling around my patch as a Footpath Inspector, I never thought that one day I would become Chairman of Peak & Northern Footpaths Society, but that has now happened following the AGM at the end of April. I feel rather over-awed following in the footsteps of so many distinguished people who have held this office.

Firstly, I would like to thank Gavin Miller for leading the Society this past 18 months with such a steady hand. I am pleased that Gavin will remain as a Trustee and continue to assist with the work of the Society. During his tenure, I have had the opportunity to learn much about how the Society ‘ticks’, particularly the legal side of footpath work, but I realise there is much more to learn.

Secondly, I would like to thank the Officers, Trustees, and the whole of the volunteer team, without whom the Society would cease to function. I have come to recognise the vast knowledge and experience that so many people possess in the field of footpath work.

I wish to express my thanks, and that of the Society, to a number of people who are stepping aside after many combined years of service. To Bill Buckley (Membership Secretary), John Harker (Courts & Inquiries Officer and Trustee) and Neil Collie (Bridges Officer). All have contributed much to the running of the Society.

We have been particularly fortunate in the last few months in receiving offers of help from four new volunteers and I extend a warm welcome to them all.

It is important that we all work as a team. As individuals we may be insignificant, but as a team we can achieve much.

As Gavin pointed out back in Signpost 48, the Society faces many challenges, particularly those posed by financial cutbacks at Local Authority level, where funding for footpath works gets less and less. We need to maintain our vigilance and continue to report deteriorating footpaths and stiles.

Summer will soon be with us, so get into the countryside with all it has to offer and enjoy the sunshine, the trees, the flowers and the birds. Try to walk those little used Public Footpaths (you may need your scythe and your cutters, while only cutting sufficient to allow you to pass!).

Next: The PNFS AGM, Saturday 30 April

Page title:The View from the Chair
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