Author Topic: Xzones or Black Holes on our maps?  (Read 25528 times)

barewirewalker

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Xzones or Black Holes on our maps?
« on: 12:57:09, 02/06/15 »

Or what else should we call them, these "no go" areas, are they a residue of a class system that should have been eradicated?
But before I spark off an argument of social inequality, lets look at the the part they play in route design.


What is an Xzone (exclusion zone)? It is like a black hole on the map, it is when you have an objective and you are frustrated by a total lack of footpaths or other RoW to allow you to acheive your destination. I have read, repeatedly, critism that some areas of Open Access are not accessible, because no RoW's lead to them.


But what if a large area without Right of Way has an impact on reaching certain objectives, should this be a matter for criticism?



I started to follow this topic with some interestest;
http://www.walkingforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=29814.0
The OP's enquiry about access to unpaved roads, this led to his real objective seen here;
http://www.walkingforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=29814.0









SB is planning a walk from Litchfield to Dolgellau, following his intended route over the Wrekin (1)in Shropshire I would have suggested crossing the River Severn at the Cressage bridge (2), as this would avoid a  5 mile section of the Severn Way, which only allows 1.2 miles off the highway.


But this option is also frustrated by a lack of  'off highway' alternatives because of substantial areas without footpaths, now these are in the lea of a bridge, the one crossing of a major river in over 7 miles as the crow flies.


What has surprised me is the actual size of these no-go areas, when viewed in relationship to route planning and how they shut off existing very high quality footpaths from being incorporated into longer routes.
 
With the increasing urbanization of the countryside, farm cottages now being owned by people needing to commute to work, the RSPB's insistence of overgrown hedges, the increase of 'white van drivers delivering to rural properties and very much heavier and faster farm traffic, country lanes are less idyllic than they once were.


SB's, intended route is traced in red over the Wrekin. The track of the Severn Way from the Cressage bridge to Atcham can also be seen in red and is SB's option for the continuation of his route. Why? Because to cross the River Severn  at Cressage does not seem to offer the 'continuity of way' that fits in with SB's objectives.


The area X highlighted around Cressage in red is an area devoid of off road access except for 0.36 mile FP that does not help SB, measures 2145 acres.
The area Y is totally devoid of footpaths and other off road access, an area of 4338 acres it imposes a North to South barrier of 5.22 miles. Within it there is one disputed Lost Way that is registered with the county council.


Arrow 3 points to an access area that offers 1 mile of delightful dingle at Stevenshill, that would offer a far higher quality of way of and furthering the objectives SB seeks for his route.


Although I was aware of a large area around the Acton Burnell estate (Y) without access, it's extent has surprised me, when expanding a contiguous area until meeting rights of way. The strategic effect is to block off good lengths of existing RoW that can form part of a longer route. Area X acts like a defensive ring around the bridge.


Then to discover area Z completely perplexed me, how can 8619 acres (XYZ total) without access not affect the effectiveness of the network, it is the equivalent of over 35 kilometer grid squares.


Arrows 4 and 5 point to good lengths of footpath, either of which would add to the quality of route sought by SB.

BWW
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barewirewalker

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Re: Xzones or Black Holes on our maps?
« Reply #1 on: 19:55:58, 03/06/15 »
If I had not been a member of a LAF I don't think I would have got to know of the  Formal Application Register, for claimed changes to the Definitive map.


 Shropshire Council have their register on line here;
http://www.shropshire.gov.uk/outdoor-recreation/countryside-access-and-public-rights-of-way/register-of-formal-applications/

and I found this claim for a 'lost Way' which is right on line to allow a crossing of area Y, right in the middle in line to join up to the paths in the Stevenshill Dingle. At the eastern end of the 'Lostway' is a RoW that continues in the direction of travel. This is in a different Civil Parish?????



Our footpath network is crock full of anomalies.
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BWW
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barewirewalker

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Re: Xzones or Black Holes on our maps?
« Reply #2 on: 11:23:05, 05/06/15 »

I have been a member of this forum for a number of years, I have contributed and lurked, and tried to follow the trends in popular walking. There is, I believe a growing trend for Long Distance routes to be fashioned for an individual's needs and objectives. This I have noticed from following discussion from request for help to TR's.
 
To cross Shropshire be it part of the longest E-W C2C or just for someone to walk from their home town to the Welsh coast is not a rare idea.


To often the Severn Way is chosen as the means of doing this, by people who might expect that the SW was route chosen by local experts.


It was, as far as I can find out, created by committee set up by the old River Severn Water Board. No additional powers were used to persuade landowners to allow off road access and so the section downstream of Shrewsbury includes a four and half mile stretch of road walking as shown on the map below;



Some years ago I was sent instruction by one of the major publisher's of walks, one criteria was that their walks should not include "Highway". I chose not to contribute, my best walks often break their other criteria that all their walks must follow rights of way. Another line of on-line enquiry into holiday companies creating package walking holidays seems to suggest that between a days walking is 7-10 miles, many of us walk further. In the event of the SW being offered as a part of a cross country route 4.39 miles of roadway walking as part of 7 or even 10 miles would be totally unacceptable, especially as part of it is alongside  a B road once the old A5.


It is with the background of these thoughts that the 3 X(clusion) zones balanced against the probability that there are old routes over a considerable distance of countryside that could offer better walking, should be judged.


Here is more detailed map, which shows a direct 9.5 mile route from Cressage to Dorrington, both villages served by bus services,



Walking on roadway is highlighted in red.
Walking on rights of way is highlighted bright green.
Mauve and blue highlights historical tracks and ways that could be termed as lost ways,the continuity of way surely backs this up.


I am not suggesting that there was a continuity of way all the way through to Dorrington from Cressage, but Pitchford Hall was an important house and estate with a large establishment and employing many local people, this could have been the focal point for continuity of way from both the west and east.



BWW
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barewirewalker

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Re: Xzones or Black Holes on our maps?
« Reply #3 on: 12:16:54, 07/06/15 »

Looking on-line at some old maps I find a footpath shown that roughly falls in line with a route across area X. It is 1945 wartime issue of the OS. Unfortunately I cannot get to see any older maps on-line without subscribing but as my local reference library has them, I will have to wait until I can get there.
 
These old maps do not legally prove a right of way, but they do show where generations before us had access. If those old routes coincide with a way that might be of public interest today, is it not worthwhile exploring them?


Today Mrs BWW and I will go for a walk in the Stevenshill Dingle, I have not been there for over 10 years, so it is worth going to have a little 'sprot around'.
BWW
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barewirewalker

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Re: Xzones or Black Holes on our maps?
« Reply #4 on: 13:44:47, 08/06/15 »
If the X zone X had been endowed with a right of way as shown by the 1945 OS map, a cross county walker coming out of Wellington(Bus or Rail station), walking over the Wrekin, crossing the River Severn by the bridge at Cressage might be looking back at this view;



Cressage and the river are 300ft lower so the sight line picks up at a level of Eaton Constantine. The old footpath would have given the walker access to the field margin on the left of the picture and this gateway. Yesterday Mrs BWW and I had a great walk in the Dingle below Stevenshill, my other photo's may show the quality of way that could be on offer to the Xcountry walker if the effort were made to look at the access network with foresight and imagination.





BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

barewirewalker

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Re: Xzones or Black Holes on our maps?
« Reply #5 on: 09:00:36, 14/06/15 »
Just returned from a few days in London,where there are X zones too but they are built of brick and mortar. As my wife was attending a course for 3 days, I had the leisure time to just follow my nose. In order to take a short cut I nipped into an open doorway at the side of Somerset House. As it happened I was a bit desperate for a pee and the public facility, out on the street, demanded 50p in exact coin which I did not have. A very convenient convenience appeared before my eyes along a tall corridor, a welcome relief and after a happy stroll amongst the self absorbed locals I exited by a public door.











BWW
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barewirewalker

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Re: Xzones or Black Holes on our maps?
« Reply #6 on: 08:11:30, 27/06/15 »
The white lane (unpaved road) starting at SJ 58850 04278, it can just be seen on my map of Cressage behind the Post Office. It leads to a mark flag at SJ 58075 04215 has played on my mind since noticing this anomaly that is the subject of this topic.


Mrs BWW was of doing some end of term stuff and for the first time in weeks that I have had to slip off, this type of outing is best kept solo, so I hopped on the 436 Bridgnorth bus to Cressage. Only a few hours ago I had been posting here about walking in Scotland and as I walked the pavement edge of the of the A458, I thought who would want to be walking here and then I reminded myself that I was trying to join the paths of the Wrekin to another beautiful part of my county. Once off the main road I am immediately sealed off from the spoiling sounds of the A road by the start of a deeply rutted track, after a few a turns a privacy notice reminds me that I am trespassing.


The track improves, because the farm traffic access of the road is through another field and not between the cottages at the edge of the village. The track is 2 thirds of a mile long, climbing gently to a spot height of 78m from 45m, to an old barn and cattle handling pens. During my walk up the track I looked back to get end on views of the Wrekin rearing up behind, as it towers over the the river crossing at the Cressage bridge.


The barn is on a broad knoll and I soon realised that I was getting an unique vista of the Severn Way walked by other forum members and only as I write this do I realise that I was looking at the site of the Roman city of Viroconivm from an aspect very few people will have seen it.


It is not a good time of the year to explore field margins, rampant plant growth, both crops and weeds, are there to impede. Further exploration soon became constrained to the where I could actually make progress, post harvest will be a better time for this.


Struggling along the edges of verdant crops, a field of oil seed rape eventually forced me onto the lane that would be the only option to link Cressage to the Stevenshill Dingles. It was an open topped corridor from which I could see the sky and little else. But I now know the hedge lines do link this knoll to the gateway I took the photo of the Wrekin, could the passage of popular 'trod' make this a thoroughfare? I shall be back for another wee trespass.

BWW
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ron6632

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Re: Xzones or Black Holes on our maps?
« Reply #7 on: 16:15:57, 27/06/15 »
Looking on-line at some old maps I find a footpath shown that roughly falls in line with a route across area X. It is 1945 wartime issue of the OS. Unfortunately I cannot get to see any older maps on-line without subscribing but as my local reference library has them, I will have to wait until I can get there.
 
These old maps do not legally prove a right of way, but they do show where generations before us had access. If those old routes coincide with a way that might be of public interest today, is it not worthwhile exploring them?


Today Mrs BWW and I will go for a walk in the Stevenshill Dingle, I have not been there for over 10 years, so it is worth going to have a little 'sprot around'.

Only just browsing this thread.  Have a look at the SABRE website.  They have many of the historical OS maps online a la getamap.  There are some gaps in their coverage but most of the maps have significant uk coverage.

Edit: I should point out it's SABRE-roads!
« Last Edit: 16:21:31, 27/06/15 by ron6632 »

fernman

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Re: Xzones or Black Holes on our maps?
« Reply #8 on: 19:44:51, 27/06/15 »
I shall be back for another wee trespass.
Like you did in Somerset House?

Sorry, couldn't resist that!

barewirewalker

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Re: Xzones or Black Holes on our maps?
« Reply #9 on: 19:59:41, 27/06/15 »
Ah ! folks do read my posts ............I feel flattered.


Thanks Ron that is a mapping site I did not know about. It would be a tremendous public benefit is the OS would make the historical 6" to the mile sheets available, especially pre 1911, this would help many who are research lost ways having to go to local archive.


There are I believe some folks researching lost ways, probably not enough, but my interest is more on the ground and how these routes may be translated into usable routes that will benefit the walker in the future. To see the relationship between the way and the terrain/geography is to me fascinating. To recover lost ways sadly is a legal exercise, unless enough public concern were to swing it into a political issue.
BWW
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fernman

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Re: Xzones or Black Holes on our maps?
« Reply #10 on: 20:46:46, 27/06/15 »
Historical maps here, includes OS 1805-1869:
http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/maps/

and OS 6 inch maps 1842-1952 here:
http://maps.nls.uk/os/6inch-england-and-wales/index.html

barewirewalker

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Re: Xzones or Black Holes on our maps?
« Reply #11 on: 11:20:23, 29/06/15 »

Thanks fernman, how did I miss the OS 6 inch maps1805-1952 on that website, without going to the  County Archive, I have been able to download and construct a map that proves a route. Had I wanted to walk across Shropshire, say 60 years ago and had access to these maps, I would have been able to walk from Cressage to Dorrington (A49) almost entirely off road. There were footpaths across the X zones!


There is alway a provision the old OS printed sheets that footpaths do not necessarily mean right of way, but does continuity of way not indicate a route that crosses more than one holding had greater usage than just a local shortcut.


Here is I believe an example of how lostways can improve the access network.
BWW
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barewirewalker

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Re: Xzones or Black Holes on our maps?
« Reply #12 on: 12:18:59, 05/07/15 »
And here is what old maps can show us, thanks to Fernman and his link to old 6in to the mile maps.
Fig.1.

There would have been a footpath in days of yore, shown in red, the blue line shows a continuance of way along field boundaries from a white lane that leads to a dilapidated barn and cattle handling pens.
Fig.2.

Although the white lane is shown on today's OS map, the old map shows a footpathe that adds to the continuance of way. 2 red dots indicate footpaths that lead well off the map beyond the holding the white road is on and is part of their continuance of way.
Fig.3.

The 2 branches of the drunken Y meet directly with a footpath and a bridleway granted right of way status. Despite a clear abundance of paths leading E to W this parish does not bother to recognise the direction of travel to a village that is on a main road where travellers would have met transport from horse drawn to motor. There was also a rail stop there, supported by rights of way today.
BWW
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barewirewalker

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Re: Xzones or Black Holes on our maps?
« Reply #13 on: 08:48:30, 28/07/15 »
Yesterday I took a 5.8 mile stroll around the area between Ryton and Dorrington, in the the area shown in Fig.3 and my route followed my 'Drunken Y' so much of it was a trespass. This is a view that the compilers of the Definitive Map of Shropshire did not think we should have;



Stepping off the road by Windy Mundy cottages onto the N branch of the Y was like walking out onto a balcony looking out onto the South Shropshire hills,  it is an angle that gives a view of the Lawley, Hope Bowdler hill with battle rock and Carodoc that I have never seen before and I have roamed the county for more than half a century. What is shown on old maps as a track is now still a track. I had not trouble at all in following field margins, from gate to gate, doing no damage to crops all in full growth and soon to be harvested. Towards the end of the balcony, top edge of the first field, I had a tantalising glimpse of Pontesbury Hill between other summits, which would be the markers for a cross county walker heading west.


Yesterday was not the best day to be taking photographs, but the weather was kind enough to make it very pleasant walk which as part of a route across Shropshire I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone if it was in fact a right of way. It is fact far better in quality of way than the other options that are rights of way.


The S branch of the Y, which links to a bridleway was a bit more difficult because of a short section of overgrowth. Understandable because no one walks it and the passage of a few more would soon overcome this as it is otherwise perfectly passable thanks to a hunting wicket courtesy of the South Shropshire Hunt, which leads to a series of small interconnecting meadows in a shallow valley. In the photo the tops of trees showing between the two corn fields is where I walked these meadows.


Either route would have been used to access the train station at Dorrington, as these ways are clearly a missing link to the existing Rights of Way.



BWW
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barewirewalker

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Re: Xzones or Black Holes on our maps?
« Reply #14 on: 22:06:47, 28/07/15 »
And this is the panorama from the Windy Mundy track, view points do not have to be from the top of hills and only by exploring where we are not supposed to go will exciting lengths of new pathway be found.




The track is on the left side of the photo the top of Windy Mundy cottages can be seen but new owners have made them into one house and renamed the house. Perhaps at the time of the compilation of the Definitive map they would have been tied cottages to one of the nearby farms, the farm workers would not have had a car and travel to town would have been by train from Dorrington station or possible the line closed by Dr Beeching, which had a station at Cressage.



« Last Edit: 22:14:03, 28/07/15 by barewirewalker »
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.