Author Topic: Did they Trespass...or not  (Read 2009 times)

barewirewalker

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #30 on: 13:06:13, 07/10/20 »
Some more pictorial thoughts on the Offset Pavement phenomena;Just to return to the beginning of the Offset RoW that leads up the hedgerow north.
Perhaps the lady in this image may ask, "which way would you go, if you were me".
I wonder if we take modern roads for granted, do 'the snapshots in time' that the 1880 OS surveys give us more insight into how generations before us used roads.
BWW
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shortwalker

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #31 on: 13:30:56, 07/10/20 »
Maybe, some of your offset ROW, may come from the accuracy of the actual mapping, or stem from those "horrible" landowners who for their own reasons wanted the ROW moved.


How many times do we go for walk and see a long abandoned house etc in the middle of a field/more etc, with no ROW nearby and no visible paths or roads nearby. It is just how these things evolve. 

barewirewalker

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #32 on: 11:59:18, 08/10/20 »
Just the reason a RoW Officer gave me when I first questioned an example at Kynaston, Shropshire. It seemed unnecessary to have to put up walk furniture in 3 or 4 fields that ran parallel to a farm track, quite dry as it was made up with stone to the field levels with a ditch alongside. Though I now believe more strongly that it would have been a sunken track that was part of a populous route with a distant objective of some social importance, after finding other examples.
Preston on Wye, may only show today as 'grey dots', but it purpose in 1880 was as part of a continuous way, tend to agrees with the conformation of the ground.
An series of examples near Cardeston, Shropshire seem to fit the similar pattern of being on the line of a route. It would be interesting to see there are more in other localities.

The Hereford example I came across when I was looking at the area Harry Cotterrel lives in, as president of the CLA when they published their policy on Public access I thought he might have learnt something from his local geography. Nearly everything about access in that area runs contrary to the reasoning behind his policies.
« Last Edit: 12:10:36, 08/10/20 by barewirewalker »
BWW
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barewirewalker

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #33 on: 10:49:21, 19/10/20 »
I had hopes that there might be other examples of this anomaly. I am still convinced that the 1880 Cartography is represents a footpath in a field running parallel to the road. If so, the question, "Did our ancestors trespass to put it there" surely arises and in that case, where this has made it onto the Definitive Map the it has become a Right of Way.

The original act, if the road was unsuitable for a person on foot, was a justifiable trespass, (as the path was mapped) so at what point does this become an expression of a reasonable or natural right?

A more frequent example is the 'shortcut' across the corner of a field. Just a shortcut to reduce the distance the bend in a road make? Not if it cuts out a road junction, this is part of a route with a different destination and if we find another footpath across fields this may reveal another destination. How far can you follow a series of seeming shortcuts to find the true destination all the shortcuts add up to.

I followed such a series of shortcuts on early OS maps for some miles and came to a request stop on a long disused railway line. This line bisected an area of 11 square miles devoid of Slow Ways, to coin a phrase from a recent topic. Could there be any purpose to several miles of shortcuts to a long deserted rail stop on today's Slow Ways Map?

Add to this another similar route extending from the same rail stop from the other side of the line. Should I call this the Double Destination Factor? The purpose of the two routes may have disappeared over the years but the combined ways has value with the new needs of today's Slow Ways. In this instance the combined ways, 5 miles as the crow flies, join an area fertile in Slow Ways to a rare non urban bridge crossing  a major river for at least 5 miles either way up or down stream.

Were the original pathways to the rail line created by justifiable trespass, would it be justifiable trespass today to walk 5 miles across a blank in our Slow Way Map that could create a significant strategic way?
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

ninthace

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #34 on: 11:44:04, 19/10/20 »
I suppose the question is did the pathways grow up to get to the stop or was the stop put there because a path crossed the line.  Landowners often insisted on halts being built as a condition for allowing the line to cross their land.
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barewirewalker

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #35 on: 12:24:53, 19/10/20 »
Landowners also like us to assume that they were the final arbiters of the right to cross or access their land. This country is unique in having large scale mapping 150 years old and possible 200 years. Can we learn something from these maps, is there evidence that community need was a factor, today's property owners would prefer us to assume that they have inherited the right of final arbitration.


I think the term for this type of station was a Signal Stop. Country stations were also important for the transport of milk into the towns and cities, even 200 years ago there were Yeoman farmers, who had freehold going back to Saxon times. Can't imagine the local Lord of the manor being able to stop some of those guys from delivering their milk to a rail line.
 
BWW
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ninthace

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #36 on: 12:36:20, 19/10/20 »
I don't think you quite addressed the issue.  Was the stop there because the path crossed the line or did the path grow up to get to the stop?
I think your landowner bias is blinding you to other possibilities.  In those days. it would have been in the landowner's interest to allow the people who worked the land and lived nearby to have access to a stop and therefore could have have proposed the stop in the first place.  In the past, many estates took the welfare and prosperity of their tenants and neighbours seriously.  There was no welfare state, the local landowner often assumed this role.
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barewirewalker

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #37 on: 14:48:49, 19/10/20 »
I don't think you quite addressed the issue.  Was the stop there because the path crossed the line or did the path grow up to get to the stop?
I think your landowner bias is blinding you to other possibilities.  In those days. it would have been in the landowner's interest to allow the people who worked the land and lived nearby to have access to a stop and therefore could have have proposed the stop in the first place.  In the past, many estates took the welfare and prosperity of their tenants and neighbours seriously.  There was no welfare state, the local landowner often assumed this role.
Valid point. The offset pavement and the shortcut across a field both point to the pedestrian initiating the route, I agree that the landowner in the past was interesting in local welfare to the extent that the ways were tolerated and for this reason they got put on the OS surveys. The CLA policy today is to deny the creation of any new RoW, to the extent that a new way being formed, for instance along a field margin, where a busy road now occupies the full width hedge to hedge, would soon have barbed wire across the tops of gates and fences. It is this type of extension to the Slow Way map that would be the modern day equivalent of the offset pavement of avoiding roads cut up by cattle being driven to market.

The point I am trying to make with the example of the station is several ways came into this sort of historic destination, joined together they create routes that have a new use. As with the canals and railways that created artificial barriers across the countryside, motorways do that today. Should today's walker emulate his ancestors and use those service bridges etc. to add to Slow Ways and would the landowner of today see this as a reasonable expression of social need and tolerate it?
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

ninthace

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #38 on: 15:48:06, 19/10/20 »
<<snip>>The point I am trying to make with the example of the station is several ways came into this sort of historic destination, joined together they create routes that have a new use. As with the canals and railways that created artificial barriers across the countryside, motorways do that today. Should today's walker emulate his ancestors and use those service bridges etc. to add to Slow Ways and would the landowner of today see this as a reasonable expression of social need and tolerate it?
To be fair, quite a few I have met might agree to it especially if liability and maintenance issues were sorted out (this was the sort of thing I was hinting at in my Slow Maps posts)


As examples:
The local charity I have the honour to chair is planning to put a table and benches in the corner of a wood by the Two Moors Way. The wood is owned by the Woodland Trust and they have been happy to let us do it.  It is a big bit of kit to shift and the owner of the land we will have to cross to get it there is also quite agreeable to us driving across several fields with a vehicle and trailer to get it there, even though it will involve crop damage and encourage people to picnic in a corner of their field.  In fact, during the Covid pandemic the landowner has been happy to let people picnic in their field and to paddle in the stream that runs by it.
Another local landowner is not only improving the existing ROW through a wood well known for its bluebells. but is also constructing additional paths through the wood and putting bridges in across a stream to improve access.
If you ever walk the PW, when you get to God's Bridge, the landowner just to the E has put in paths by the River Greta and through other parts of their land.
Just some that I know of.  Landowners are not all bad and I suspect quite a few do not even belong to the CLA.
 
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barewirewalker

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #39 on: 16:34:00, 19/10/20 »
Unfortunately a few decent landowners does not make good whole. The Duke of Devonshire apologized for the harm his ancestors did in shutting off the Pennines from it's surrounding towns and cities. Perhaps the CLA should own up to the Corruption of the Definitive Map and apologise to the country on behalf of the former members.

They stick to the line that Lostways are irrelevant, yet the map does not bear this out. Their President who wrote their policy on access and can look out of the front window of Garnon's Hall and see where a Roman Road meets the southern end of the North section of Offa's Dyke and not suggest that a landowner should admit they owe the country access to important bits of our history.


Re-instating the lost ways of Shropshire could show the way to add 500 miles or more to useful cross country routes. Valuable infrastructure such as bridges fail to have there full potential used because the ways to them are incomplete.


Back to the topic; Did our ancestors actually trespass when they cut across that field to avoid some mud or take new way to market. If so did they set precedent  that we should exploit today as ever wider tractors and trailors flatten us against the road edges and increasing numbers of white van drivers speed to the further reaches of rural suburbia.


BWW
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Andies

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #40 on: 17:07:43, 19/10/20 »
I think the answer to BWW's question may be in the law of trespass, which requires there to have been some damage.
If there was none I suspect in times of old before the definitive map and the concept of right of way that we have today there was an acceptance that people were able to take a sensible route to their destination if only to avoid some mud.
As I have stated before I will trespass if I feel it appropriate, such as avoiding a dangerous road by walking on an adjacent headland. Interestingly I did this a few years ago and was challenged by the farmers wife who after asking if she could help me, my declining, then accused me of trespassing. I explained my reasons for walking on the edge of the setaside field, expressed my hope that I hadn't caused any damage, and after she had confirmed that she didn't want to be knocked down on the narrow but busy road, I went on my way.
The said farmer was ironically vice chair of the Local Access Forum, but I don't think his wife was an advocate of increased access.
Changed lifestyles have reduced usage of our historic routes, and I believe the formalisation of the ROW network through the definitive map, whilst designed to protect ROW, may actually through it's establishment have fueled the attitudes we can see from some landowners and certainly that promoted by the CLA.

ninthace

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #41 on: 17:17:13, 19/10/20 »
Equally BWW - a few bad apples?  To return to the question I asked - how many landowners are even members of the CLA?  I could not find out from their website.  Even amongst those that are - how many are just members to use the CLA services rather than to campaign for special interests and, in paticualr, how many of them take any interest in the CLA view on ROWs?  I realise they are a lobby group but they do not mandate the conduct of landowners.  They are a special interest group much as the Ramblers are a lobby group for walkers.  Within it, I am sure there are many who realise the economic benefits of opening up the countryside to visitors - I suspect many of them are members of the community they live in, rather than remote corporations, and behave accordingly

I am beginning to sound like an apologist for the landed classes but all I am trying to say that many of them are not as evil as you are trying to portray them.  Most of the access problems I have had over the years seem to have been with the newly arrived property owner trying to stake their claim  rather from the big estates.
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ninthace

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #42 on: 17:20:22, 19/10/20 »
..................  Changed lifestyles have reduced usage of our historic routes, and I believe the formalisation of the ROW network through the definitive map, whilst designed to protect ROW, may actually through it's establishment have fueled the attitudes we can see from some landowners and certainly that promoted by the CLA.
  Good point - wish I had thought of it.  Formalising things is not always a good idea, it removes the useful grey areas.
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barewirewalker

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #43 on: 18:25:04, 19/10/20 »
Having served on the NFU I am away how far this lobby group is heard in the corridors of power. It is frustrating when when walkers seem not to realise just how powerful a lobby group the CLA is,m since the loss of many hereditary peers in the 1990's the CLA has promoted a very active grass routes membership, their aim is to have coast to coast membership throughout the country.


Their access aims are purely selfish, ironically they do not see the access network as an asset that creates opportunities in the rural communities they claim to represent. They rely strongly on the image of integrity, yet the dishonesty of the access history is still kept largely out of the public eye. The strongest arguments for improved access, IMO, is to drive an intellectual wedge between the CLA and the NFU. The CLA's drive for membership has been largely been at the expense of NFU membership, which is important if we are to have a strong agriculture to produce the quality of food this country needs.
If land owners were to admit among'st themselves that the reason we have RoWs is because of their historic reluctance to grant access and Andies is right
I think the answer to BWW's question may be in the law of trespass, which requires there to have been some damage.
If there was none I suspect in times of old before the definitive map and the concept of right of way that we have today there was an acceptance that people were able to take a sensible route to their destination if only to avoid some mud.Changed lifestyles have reduced usage of our historic routes, and I believe the formalisation of the ROW network through the definitive map, whilst designed to protect ROW, may actually through it's establishment have fueled the attitudes we can see from some landowners and certainly that promoted by the CLA.
Unfortunately being a sole critic of the landed classes seems to have made by judgements rather extreme, but as no commentaries have come out about the CLA's 2012 Policy this extreme view has been rather forced on me and I have personally plenty of examples to support this point of view.
BWW
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shortwalker

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #44 on: 18:57:42, 19/10/20 »
I do not agree with the way BWW goes on about the "landed gentry" but have any of you seen this.


https://www.cla.org.uk/rural-organisations-join-forces-proposal-amendment-highways-act-1980


In case you don't want to read the article they basically want to be able to "temporarily" close ROW's if cattle are present.