Peak & Northern Footpaths Society (est.1894)

Chairman’s Piece

David Hurrell, Chairman

This article is from Signpost 63, Winter 2019

Our recent half year meeting was held in Sheffield for the first time to provide the opportunity for members on the east side of the Pennines an easier journey to the meeting.

Indications are that it has been a success as out of 40 members attending, 14 said they would not have attended a meeting in Stockport. The Trustees are agreed that a future meeting will again be held away from Stockport at another alternative venue. No final decision has been made, but various suggestions have been raised for towns or cities on the west side of the Pennines. Our AGM will again be held at the Britannia Hotel in Stockport on Saturday, 18 April 2020 when a buffet lunch will be served between morning and afternoon sessions.

In the questions session of the HYM meeting there were various points raised about the presentation of pages on the website, when I indicated that work was in progress on some revisions. I have been assured by members of the sub-committee that various proposals have been suggested and that within a few weeks firm proposals will be brought to the management meeting for approval. So for those who are concerned about the appearance, the society is working hard on some revisions. However, we must not lose sight of the fact that the website does provide much information for members of the society, and we need to be aware of that fact.

Many of us will have been out and about during the summer months and experienced the extremes of weather we have had. I am sure that many of you will have received a drenching at some point, whilst many will have found a few days unbearably hot. I myself was out on one of the hottest days of the year and enjoyed a pleasant lunch seated under some trees in Onecote in the Staffordshire Moorlands. Onecote is actually rather high up, at around 1,000 feet above sea level and despite the height it was unbearably hot at lunch time. It was even hotter in the valley below with little breeze to cool things down. It made me wish for a cold winter?s day! Now winter is upon us I am thinking of those very pleasant summer days, now long gone.At our AGM last April we heard from the Woodland Trust about some of the work they do in some of our most precious woodland. I have mentioned before about the work in felling trees going on around some of our reservoirs, now that the coniferous trees have reached maturity, and the subsequent replanting work that follows.

I have recently had a look with a fellow footpath inspector of an overgrown path in a section of woodland at Langsett, close to Langsett reservoir, and now a very popular walking area for dog lovers, runners and some longer distance walkers setting off for the Upper Derwent Valley. The section of path was reported to Barnsley Public Rights of Way some months ago, but unfortunately nothing has happened to clear the path, which has become overgrown, and invisible on the ground. If a tree is blown over and falls across a path the Authority will come along and clear in fairly quick time, but it seems in this case that they are happy for walkers to use a bridleway not too far distant. This is what our footpath inspectors are facing on an ever increasing scale as Public Rights of Way departments are cut back to save money. Remember that lack of money does not prevent the local authority from carrying out what is required by law. Our duty as Peak and Northern Footpaths Society is to keep all footpaths open to the public for them to enjoy at their leisure.

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