Author Topic: My Walks can't be Published (CENSORED)  (Read 680 times)

barewirewalker

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My Walks can't be Published (CENSORED)
« on: 07:47:41, 21/08/19 »
I woke up this morning thinking of a walk my partner and I had done quite a few years ago, a figure of eight, just under 5 miles from a car park made specifically for people to access a local beauty spot. It is one of the Mere sides, often termed Shropshire's  Lake District at Ellesmere. The Colemere car park gives access to a natural circular walk of one and three quarter miles. It is quite difficult to find a naturally longer distance circular from this particular car park without having to walk on roads which which vary from quite busy to dangerous. Yet the walk I woke up thinking about was as natural a circular as is possible to find. The reason it could not be published, is half a mile of trespass, which Mrs BWW and I did without any notice being taken. Were we lucky or was it because walking that piece of land caused no problems to anyone?

 If we had the Scottish political attitude to access would I be able to suggest this route to a publisher of walks and if it was published would it become one of the most iconic routes in the area? I think it has all the ingredients to be rated very high in the category of exceptional walks.

The reason I was thinking about it is because we walk the short route from Cole Mere quite often now, I realise that age is taking it's toll on my more adventurous instincts and trespass does require a suppleness of limb that seems to be a figment of my  imagination.

When walking the easy part of the canal towpath, I can look across at ground two contours higher, on the other side of a bed of bull rushes and other sedges and think the natural way back would allow the walker to look down into that feature. Is that the sort of thinking that should go into walk design? I had to get up this morning and look at the map, was my memory playing tricks on me or is the contour line just where I think it is?

Actually the map shows me I might be able to walk, following a hedgeline 3 contour lines above this piece of ground that modern day land management is allowing to re-wild, if I were to follow this instinct I would link into a footpath/RoW, which is a mere shortcut of little interest.

Are these treacherous thoughts, of a dissenter, liable to bring down the well ordered lifestyle of our society?

Is it worth discussing?
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

vghikers

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Re: My Walks can't be Published (CENSORED)
« Reply #1 on: 09:46:09, 21/08/19 »
Quote
The reason it could not be published, is half a mile of trespass

I assume you mean published as a paper book or article, as opposed to a TR-style walk description on a personal website, in which case I believe you're right.

We bought a walk book years ago where one of the walks used a 3-mile section of an abandoned rail track, owned by British Rail at the time but given over to local farmers for grazing etc. This section was obviously not a right-of-way, but the local farming community supported its use by walkers provided they negotiated the obstacles on the track with care and respect.
However when British Rail discovered the publication, they insisted that all unsold copies must have a note manually inserted instructing walkers not to use the track as it was private property. Knowing the thin profit margins on walk books even at that time, it cost the author dearly.

Slogger

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Re: My Walks can't be Published (CENSORED)
« Reply #2 on: 14:17:02, 21/08/19 »
This post reminded me of a walk my wife and myself did some years ago with regard to trespass.We were doing a circular walk on the outskirts of the Bowland Fells in Lancashire. We came down the track to where it meets a road that we had to cross. The map showed that we had to walk up the road for around 100 metres and turn down a track, through some woods into a field and onto a small road where there were a few stone built houses, up the road to a stile giving access to the path across another field. This section was almost a circular within a circular as we could see that last stile giving access to the second field directly down a private road straight in front of us.
We decided to head straight for the stile and avoid an unnecesary round about way to it. We had just started to walk down the private road when a car drove up from the stone built houses. The car stopped and the lady driver in police uniform told us we couldn't go down the road as it was private. I explained that we were just wanting to get to the stile around 50 metres away. She wouldn't have it so we had to go the round about way, which passed right by their front door!

Andies

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Re: My Walks can't be Published (CENSORED)
« Reply #3 on: 16:45:20, 21/08/19 »
BWW raises an interesting point as always. At what point does suggesting a route should be a ROW become illegal?

Perhaps actively encouraging others to trespass would be considered such, but if the claim for a ROW can be proved to have some foundation, then perhaps it should be pursued?

For example I am currently researching a potential lost ROW, but to actually see the route on the ground and walk it requires a trespass. Am I wrong to do so? I certainly wouldn't cause any damage, so I am not sure I could or would be prosecuted should the landowner or his employees come across me in the act.

In any event if I am found I will claim ignorance of my straying, apologise and return to the nearest adjoining ROW. Navigational errors happen ;D


fernman

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Re: My Walks can't be Published (CENSORED)
« Reply #4 on: 18:12:10, 21/08/19 »
For my day walks in the Chilterns I follow routes from guide books, of which there are many for the area.
Most of them are sticklers for following rights of way, even where there are blindingly obvious short cuts.
An extreme example I recall is at the edge of a wood where the RoW turns sharp left from A, into a corner at B, and almost doubles back on itself to C, which is about 15 metres from A.

But this is from a 2017 book where the author has "got away with it":


Here is the same spot on an OS 1:25k map:


The text says (the walk is from south to north), " walk down the hill to a road. Cross over and take the path leading up the slope, turning right when you join another path."
There is a faint path there, but it is only a "common usage" one and not a right of way.
It might sound self-righteous of me to say I stayed on the RoW here a few weeks ago  :angel: but that is because I only ever follow my way on an OS map, with a book's map as a guide and ignoring the text.

barewirewalker

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Re: My Walks can't be Published (CENSORED)
« Reply #5 on: 10:49:54, 22/08/19 »
Thanks for those contributions, there is some interesting content there, which I am taking note. It is good that a few walkers are aware of what is going on.

It has taken a few years, since doing this walk, for me to realise that I had learnt quite bit from it. At the time I was physically stronger and was looking for longer routes, so perhaps the value of the features within this walk did not fully impact. The location is close to the town of Ellesmere, with an economy based on it's connection with agriculture, Fulward's milking machines were made there and the factory building were there till quite recently. As times change tourism is becoming far more important. Much of the access is based on the old framework of 18th-19th century landownership, I think that most of those estates have been broken up, but it leaves many of the meres tucked away in pockets of 'private land', where the lie of the land hides them.

For this reason the local economy is probably not getting the full benefit of these assets of nature, yet as tax payers we are putting quite a lot of money into that area under the guise of conservation.

Publishing, as VGH points out the pitfalls, could be the way to draw attention to the quality of these assets. But it must done with a subtle touch, as the author is likely to get clobbered.

Personally I think that the old fashion notions of Freehold, that encourages the attitude of 'landownership', costs the country a lot in lost resources. Are these little clues the way to prove this theory?

Andies, we should all appreciate the work you do in investigating a lostway, perhaps if we all looked at the terrain, we are allowed to walk, we might better answer the CLA's claims that lostway hunting is a waste of time and public money. When I include a map of this particular walk there will be a short length of new RoW on it, not connected to my route, but created by a local walker, who campaigned and brought it to a Public Inquiry. The land owner fought it tooth and nail. Perhaps if the CLA had supported the idea that public access brings revenue into the rural economy, public money might have been saved, instead of being wasted.
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

barewirewalker

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Re: My Walks can't be Published (CENSORED)
« Reply #6 on: 12:11:54, 25/08/19 »
One of my biggest criticisms of the walking fraternity is the inability to discuss and evaluate walk design. On a number of occasions on this forum and elsewhere new members have suggested this as a topic to discuss and learn from. On every occasion the topic has been ignored or even given a hostile reception.

Why is this?
Is it not a subject worthy of in depth study by those of us, who are interesting the nuts and bolts of our pastime?
Is it because it is best left to persons more learned than we?

Perhaps it is for those experts, who write routes in guide books, but the more I read these and become am aware of the routes that published, I realize that there is little evaluation done in quality control.

Perhaps there is another reason. Routes follow the defining line of rights of way and authors of these routes is not required to be challenged by the terrain and think if they are getting the best out of it.

This come back to my original post, supported by VGH's experience of an author incurring cost because he was at risk of 'inciting trespass'. To trespass, is as we know, a civil offense and is unlikely to give rise to a lawsuit unless damage can be proved. However the risk of publishing a route, which encourage others to walk on supposed 'private land', invites a higher risk of legal action.

Why is this? It is quite simple really, the occupiers of our countryside have been brainwashed by tradition and current minority opinion that access to land is damaging to their interests. This is born out by the CLA's 2012 policy document on Access.

Developing an eye for terrain is the first step to thinking, where you might like to go, is there a risk in speculating along these lines. I have met in my life, those of the order of countryside occupier, who would assert that I am thinking above my station. But would I actually be telling them how the asset of their holding could become more remunerative. In most of the improvements to leisure network of our country that I have spotted they actual landowner is unlikely to get direct reward, however there is reward, even as close to a near or next neighbor.

Does this point towards a fundamental flaw in the administration of  Freehold?
« Last Edit: 12:15:25, 25/08/19 by barewirewalker »
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

barewirewalker

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Re: My Walks can't be Published (CENSORED)
« Reply #7 on: 12:37:26, 29/08/19 »
Shropshires Great Outdoors.
Come and see the Least Water Lily in its only native habitat in England
There is only one place in England where the least water lily, also known as the small yellow pond-lily, can be found other than on the water at Colemere countryside heritage site.

map-route-lily by Barewirewalker, on Flickr

When you stumble on a superb piece of walking by mistake does it really make your day. This is a  walk that I would love to see in a guide book or even here, on the Shropshire Great Outdoors website.
Sadly that part, which cannot be included, was discovered by accident. Having suffered a  near miss on a nasty bit of road, no one should be on, unless wrapped in the safety of a vehicle, we had dived over a crash barrier into a wood and nearly rolled down a slope to be greeted by an extraordinary view of a hidden mere, it was not early in the day and we had not long walked along the side of Cole Mere, where there was no sign of mist. Yet here this new mere had a ghostly mist hovering high over it's surface well past midday. A look at the map yielded a name, Kettle Mere, of course a mere that looks as if it is boiling, squeezed into such a tight location that only the stronger breezes will shift the morning mist. Why are we not proud of this unique phenomena, how often can it be seen? Slithering a short distance down, we were on a firm track, which led us eastward to open out to the magnificent reverse view of Blakemere, so often seen from the other side. The track is near that of the surface of the water that this side gives a far more inclusive feel to the water and the calm beauty of this mere.

Ever since that day I feel that I have been let into one of the great secrets of Shropshire, yet I feel outrage that a part of my county that is claimed to be a tourist attraction, hides away a gem such as this. The Great Outdoors Experience of Shropshire could be so much greater, trumpeted is the fact that we have an unique botanical experience to be shared. A bit of good marketing that encourages visitors from  a long distance, but selfish landowners cannot find the generosity of spirit to share a natural asset.
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.