Morton Wood – 4 New Footbridges In Place :-)

One of the new FB’s in Morton Wood

Following on from Morton Wood Footbridges 2 Footpath Closed PathWatch is pleased (cock a hoop to be honest. Ed.) to report that all 4 brand new footbridges are now in place on this lovely riverside footpath! 

This is a significant investment in the future of this route from Kirklees and has been achieved on a difficult site in these trying Covid 19 times. Thank you barely covers it but thank you to all Kirklees staff involved 🙂


Signs & Stiles

New sign on Holmfirth Footpath 115(kirklees photo)

More bread & butter path work by Kirklees in the valley this week. A new sign on Holmfirth Footpath 115! Practically every public right of way in the valley is now signed from the public highway. This is a big improvement and thanks are due to the frontline staff involved.

Holmfirth stile repairs.(Kirklees photo)

The old timber stile on Holmfirth Footpath 116 has now been repaired and is safe to use. There’s a steady flow of regular jobs being carried out on Holmfirth paths now which is a really positive situation and benefits so many members of the public who use the network.

Thank you 🙂

Kirklees Approach To Ramsden Road In Tatters.

Ramsden Road & extensive off piste activity. This is much worse now than in 2017 when Kirklees began the process to close the route to motor vehicles.

As we all know England has been in a strict covid 19 lockdown for the past 4 weeks. During this period only essential travel has been permitted. Work, caring, essential shopping, medical reasons, that kind of thing.

Funnily enough 4×4 use of Ramsden Road has reached a peak during the lockdown. Locals are reporting damage to property, including pulling out of gates,posts and boulders to access and drive on private property. Much of this has been under the cover of darkness. Although regular convoys of 4×4’s, quads and motorbikes have been a common daily sight  on Ramsden Road and nearby Kiln Bent Road. 

Deliberate damage has been caused to the publicly funded works on Ramsden Road with vehicles driving in the new ditch and destroying at least one new culvert. The damage extends beyond Ramsden Road and onto land adjacent to Kiln Bent Road which is also popular with off roaders. 

Deliberate 4×4 damage to land adjacent to Kiln Bent Road


Post put in to stop 4×4 access to Ramsden Clough (a sssi) pulled out by 4×4 drivers. 

Kirklees Council’s approach to Ramsden Road has been to hide behind the well meaning  “Friends of Ramsden Road” group whilst ignoring the ongoing damage to the local environment and public highway, nuisance to residents and loss of amenity value to non motorised users of Ramsden Road. That’s a high price to pay but of course it’s not the only bill facing Kirklees.

Year on year the damage to Ramsden Road becomes more expensive to repair as a direct result of the council’s negligence. The final bill may run into hundreds of thousands of pounds. That’s a lot of money to keep a few 4×4 drivers and a couple of councillors happy. Dig deep taxpayers! Incompetence on this scale doesn’t come cheap.

Colne Valley FP 165 Longstanding Obstruction Shifted

Before. Not so inviting.

This short section of path has some lovely views of the valley below and one or two niggling little problems. It is typical of many paths in the Colne Valley. One long standing obstruction has just been removed (see photos). Thanks are due to the Kirklees staff involved and to the voluntary efforts of Peak and Northern Footpath Society. The path remains invisible from the road network and the council have also been asked to sign the path in line with their legal duty to do so.

After. That’s better 🙂

Investigation into an application to modify the Definitive Map and Statement: Meltham 70, Wilshaw, W Yorks. Nearest postcode: HD9 4D. Grid reference SE 1203 0963

Meltham 70 . Point A1 on the Kirklees plan. There is no record of any structures at this location on the Kirklees Definitive Map & Statement.

Kirklees Council are currently carrying out an investigation into the presence of a locked gate and 45 cm squeeze stile on Meltham Footpath 70. Location shown above.

The various structures shown in the photo have appeared fairly recently on what was a well used path. The full width of the lane between walls was  available for public use. For many years equestrian use of the lane was common place and there is a claim to have the path upgraded to bridleway status. The Kirklees consultation is copied and pasted below. Anyone with information supporting the open nature of the path and lack of locked gate and squeeze stile is encouraged to respond.

Kirklees Council has received an application to vary the particulars shown in the Statement accompanying the Definitive Map of Public Rights of Way.

The application is to record as limitations to the public right of way a squeeze stile 45cm wide next to a locked gate at point A1 on the attached map. There currently no gates, stiles or other structures recorded in the Statement accompanying the Definitive Map.


Do you have any evidence about gates or stiles on this path?


We would welcome any evidence regarding the existence or absence of structures on this path.

We would be particularly interested to know what structures may have existed in the past, and when any structures might have been removed.

If you have any evidence to add, or any comment to make please send it to Phil Champion by 23 December 2020.

Please note that this Notice forms part of the investigation of the application to modify the Definitive Map and Statement and that no decision on the application has yet been made by the Council.

Any comments you make or evidence you provide you make may eventually become public and may be used in evidence at a Public Inquiry.

Plan etc  – Meltham 70 – Vary Particulars – Informal Consulation – Plan

Ramsden Road

Well hidden warning

Now the nights are dark and winter is upon us it’s about time we got the old chestnut of Ramsden Road out for a bit of a PathWatch roasting.

Embryo crater.

The much abused Byway is being abused much more by 4×4 vehicles whose numbers have increased dramatically following the Council’s saving of the byway for 4×4’s…trash. Damage on the byway itself is self evident. 4×4’s are having fun driving in the new drain and gouging out a fresh set of craters for the Kirklees ratepayer to fill in next summer. One of the new culverts has been damaged and blocked by a 4×4 driving over it and collapsing the stone revetment.

Driving damaging the drains.

Off Piste activity on adjacent land (much of it in the Peak District National Park) is out of control. The old Parish quarry which was partly restored during the works in early summer is again getting a hammering from both 4×4’s and motorbikes. Boulders stopping access have been winched aside to allow this damage.  Similar damage by the same responsible green laners is occurring along Kiln Bent Lane between Ramsden Road and Home Moss. A good record of what is going can be viewed on Friends of Ramsden Road FB here . Seems Ramsden Road has more enemies than friends.

A Traffic Regulation Order banning motorised vehicles from Ramsden Road is the only solution. Had Kirklees not been ambushed by their own incompetence this would have all been resolved 2 years ago.

Ending on a positive note a couple of laminated signs from “Glass” have been posted on the byway. That should sort it.

Wrecked culvert

One of the non draining drains put in by Kirklees

Holmfirth Footpath 54. Funding For New Footbridge!

Footbridge funded by Peak & Northern on a Kirkburton footpath

Once upon a time there was a stone clapper type footbridge where Holmfirth Footpath 54 crosses Wickens Dike. The OS still show a FB on their current maps but it disappeared a long time ago. A few older locals say, with a hint of menace, that it was “Netherthong lads” that dispatched the old bridge.

Holmfirth FP 54 and the FB location shown in map centre.

This is a popular path and it can be tricky to cross the dike, although it’s fair to say generations of local children have enjoyed testing their wellies here!

A new footbridge is to be commissioned and put in place with funding of around £9k from Peak and Northern Footpaths Society. The scheme is supported by Kirklees Council and hopefully it will be done at some point in 2021.

Peak and Northern fund many such schemes and are well worth joining

New Footpaths Signs.

New Pole & Sign On Holmfirth FP 149 (Kirklees photo)

Regular ramblers may have noticed a number of new footpath signs popping up all over the Holme Valley. The infamous “disappearing” sign on Holmfirth 50 which was an early victim of the last lockdown has just been replaced, will it make it to the 2nd December? Holmfirth 149,shown in the photo, usually disappears pretty quickly  too and has been awol for 20 years until a couple of weeks ago.

Many other signs have been replaced and cleaned up with more to come. Thank you Kirklees.

Morton Wood Footbridges 2 Footpath Closed

Following on from Morton Wood Footbridges Footpath 168 through Morton Wood is now subject to an emergency closure order due to the failure of a cross beam on one of the bridges. Kirklees hope to have the new bridges in place by the end of November but avoid this route in the meantime.

Magdallen Road Meltham Bridleway 50


That you can can see the scar on the hillside from miles away is an indication of the extensive damage that has been done to Magdalen Road, a public bridleway in the Peak District National Park. The road is Meltham Bridleway 50 and it’s popular with mountain bikers, horse riders and walkers in equal measure.

The new surface on Meltham Bridleway 50

There’s a lack of suitable off road routes for equestrians and cyclists in both the national park and wider Kirklees. That any public bridleway can be treated in this manner is appalling and thoughtless but not a surprise. At the moment who has carried out the work remains a mystery. Kirklees are advising that the work is unauthorised and enquiries are ongoing. Let’s hope they tackle this head on and quickly!