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Walkers are welcome — increased erosion on local paths?

From Rob Blake

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

I’ve noticed recently that a lot of footpaths in the upper valley are showing a large increase in erosion.

It’s normal for paths to get a bit muddy and cut up at this time of year, but lately I’ve come across 12 foot wide stretches of mud across what were once fairly small paths.

At the same time I’ve noticed a big increase in the number of walking parties using the paths.

As a walker myself, I’m a big fan of the “walkers are welcome” scheme, but I find myself wondering if some kind of system is needed to round up volunteers to help look after our paths and protect them from increased erosion.

After all, footpaths are not limitless resource. If more walkers are encouraged to visit the valley, then more has to be done to protect them.

From Andrew Hall

Thursday, 18 February 2010


You need look no further than Calderdale’s Countryside Service.

On most weekdays, volunteers are out maintaining footpaths, digging drains, planting trees and doing much more. There are loads of opportunities to help.

If you, or anyone else reading this, has a bit of time to spare (and it doesn’t have to be much; I do a session in the Colden Valley LNR on the first Tuesday of every month) then get in touch with the service.

Your initial contact in the Council should be Chris Sutcliffe, the service’s Education and Community Development Officer.

From John Knapp

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

What I find awkward are the number of wooden stiles that are proliferating everywhere. The Calder Valley used to be a walking area that had few step stiles and mainly squeeze ones. Having to climb (often rickety) steps discriminates against those who are getting older and their joints aren’t as supple. Plus the fact that steps need more maintenance to keep safe. Other authorities have seen the light and are now replacing steps with little gates. Is the Countryside Service aware of this problem?

From Howard B

Sunday, 7 March 2010

There are some very clear indications around that much of the damage is caused by mountain bikers.

Not surprisingly, they don’t seem to respond very graciously to the suggestion that they are causing damage to these footpaths, which are an asset and amenity to us folk who live around here and use them.

On the two occasions when I have raised the matter with cyclists, I’ve had “I bet you’re one of them rambler b*stards” and to “get with the times,” which I thought ironic because he was dressed up as some sort of Power Ranger.

I’ve had the impression that footpaths are for feet but it’s okay to cycle on bridleways. Anyone know what the legal (or otherwise) position is this?

(P.S. I’m a cyclist and a walker, but believe we should practice consideration for others and the environment!)