Meltham Moor

 

Access land
Stile on access land,Meltham Moor. 

20 years on from the Crow Act 2000 and the “right to roam” and there are still areas around here where you can’t help but feel unwelcome. Meltham Moor is one of them. The stile at Muddy Brook Clough is not maintained and difficult to use. In contrast a misleading sign warning of a rifle range  and highlighting a fictitious dog ban is very well looked after.  For the record here is the only dog restriction in that area 2019108990 It’s over half a mile away.

Access land-2
Misleading sign – there is no “dog ban” at this location

Kirklees Council Has Taken Decisive Action To Remove Illegal And Potentially Unsafe Structures From The Highway

Kirklees remove dangerous obstructions from highway. Don’t panic it wasn’t a public footpath and all council approved blockages remain in place. Furthermore this outbreak of ‘decisivness’ is under control and will not spread to the public rights of way network.

Kirklees obstructing Spen Footpaths 110

Defra’s omissions

CampaignerKate

Environment ministers have a habit of making speeches just before the summer holidays.  I wrote yesterday of David Trippier’s disastrous announcement on common land 30 years ago.  Last year Michael Gove spoke to us from the hothouse at Kew, in his final days as environment secretary—and failed to mention public access, a significant part of Defra’s remit.  Last week his successor George Eustice similarly made his heading-for-holidays speech, again without mentioning public access.

You would have thought that with the summer break about to start they might have been thinking about recreation.

HomewardboundnearLaneHead,Horndon,MaryTavy Riders near Lane End on Dartmoor

George Eustice did announce that Defra would be ‘investing £4m in a two-year pilot to bring green prescribing to four urban and rural areas that have been hit the hardest by coronavirus’, which presumably has an access element—but this is too little too late.

IMG_6440 Walkers near Otley in west Yorkshire

Green prescribing has…

View original post 263 more words

A helpful act for paths

30 years on from the “Rights of Way” Act 1990 but here in Kirklees they haven’t heard of it!

CampaignerKate

In November 1987, the late Brett Collier, the Lincolnshire Ramblers’ path-champion, led the Conservative MP for Gainsborough and Horncastle, Edward Leigh, on a walk across local farmland.  Edward saw at first hand the constant issues which walkers and riders in the county faced: ploughed and deeply-rutted paths across large fields, unrestored and unmarked.  At another time of year he would have had to negotiate impenetrable crops.

This outing was a wise move on Brett’s part.  Three years later Edward came fifth in the ballot for private member’s bills.  Remembering his walk he turned to the Ramblers for advice on the bill he might introduce.

Draft bill
Coincidentally, the Ramblers had been working with other organisations on legislation to strengthen the law against ploughing and cropping of paths and were able to hand him a draft bill.  He introduced this into parliament—and the result was the Rights of Way Act, which…

View original post 1,073 more words

Ramsden Road. What’s Not Been Done 2

Following on from Ramsden Road. What’s Not Been Done. The following photos show the current state of Ramsden Road  where it has been repaired & drained at a cost of £15k. Even after a modest amount of rain it clearly isn’t working. There is also damage by motorbikes to the new surface and fly tipping. Good money is being thrown after bad here and it is painful to watch.

Ramsden Rd June 20
Reopened culvert  with nowhere for the water to drain to. This could damage the wall and will surcharge back onto ramsden Road in wetter conditions.

Ramsden Rd June 20-4
Water running off Ramsden Road & eroding back the road edges. The culverts should have been retained with stone. The road levels here are low and the cause of this issue.Imagine a land rover driving on this edge.

Ramsden Rd June 20-2
A reopened culvert which discharges onto the adjacent drystone wall. The wall footings have been undercut in the recent works. Water accumulating here could undermine the wall over time and it will surcharge back onto Ramsden Road as it has nowhere else to go.

Ramsden Rd June 20-5
One of a number of basic grips cut into the verge of Ramsden Road (which was the best bit for pedestrians to walk on! ). Even after a very modest amount of rain water  accumulates at the base of adjacent dry stone wall. In wetter conditions the water will just back up onto Ramsden Road.

Ramsden Rd June 20-7
Another very basic grip. In 30 years I’ve never seen water accumulate at this point. Again it will surcharge back down Ramsden Road in wetter conditions.

Ramsden Rd June 20-9
Another reopened culvert but with nowhere for the water to get away.

Ramsden Rd June 20-6
Group of 8 motor bikes traveling at speed on Ramsden Road.

Ramsden Rd June 20-8
Damage by motor bikes to the new surface which has only been in place for 2 weeks. What will it be like after the winter?

Rams Rd-2
More motor bike damage. Where are pedestrians supposed to walk here?

Rams Rd
The yellow sandstone in the foreground here is the last remaining bit of the 2018 repairs. The grey stone beyond was put down just a couple of weeks ago and the potholing pattern caused by vehicles is already obvious.

Ramsden Road Flttipping 3_6_20
A very neat pile of fly tipping just inside the Peak District National Park section of Ramsden Road.

Ramsden Rd June 20-11
Same fly tipping 4 days later after a few 4×4 enthusiasts have driven through it.

Screenshot (13)
More rain is forecast over the next few days. Maybe it will wash the fly tipping away?

Ramsden Road Repairs Off To Good Start.

R road wks
1000m or so of reopened drainage.

The works to Ramsden Road have got off to a good start. Really pleased to see a 1000m or so of reinstated drain on the moorland side of the road. Also about 8 reinstated culverts to connect this into adjacent land drains so water can get away. This will make such a difference. Excess soil from the ditching is being very carefully placed in the old parish quarry which will also improve this area.

Great stuff 🙂

R road wks-2
One of the reinstated culverts.

Latest Defra Advice On Rights Of Way & Covid 19

Elec Fence sign

Don’t take advice from the pitch fork brigade. This is the latest government position and advice to its stakeholders.There are no path closures in England.

Defra message to stakeholders on Covid-19 020420

Public Rights of Way and Covid-19

The government’s priority is to save lives and the best way to protect yourself and others from illness is to stay at home.

However, exercise is still important for people’s physical and mental wellbeing, so the government has said people can leave their homes for exercise once a day.

NFU and CLA have told us that some landowners are still concerned about increased use of public rights of way on their property increasing the risk to livestock, such as instances of gates being left open and dogs not being controlled.

To help address this we will publish a supplementary video on social media in advance of this weekend, reminding people to follow the Countryside Code. This will be published on Twitter @DefraGovUK and Defra’s Facebook page. We encourage you to share this with your members and networks.

Finally, further concerns have been raised by stakeholders that the use of public rights of way that run through gardens, farmyards and schools is increasing the risk of exposure to the coronavirus to residents and farm workers.

The risk of the coronavirus being passed on to others from people using public rights of way and other paths and trails is considered to be very low as long as people follow the Government’s instructions to maintain social distancing.

Landowners do not have the legal right to block or obstruct public rights of way. However, in very limited circumstances where large numbers of people are using such routes, landowners may consider the following measures:

  • Tying gates open if it is safe to do so, so that walkers do not need to touch the gate.
  • Temporarily displaying polite notices that encourage users to respect local residents and workers by following social distancing guidelines and consider using alternative routes that do not pass through gardens, farmyards or schools.

Note: this is a polite request only, and there is no power under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 for landowners to close or obstruct a public right of way offering an alternative route around gardens and farmyards only where it is safe to do so (you must gain permission from relevant landowners and make sure the route is safe for users and livestock) provided that the original right of way is maintained.

Key points to Note under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW)

  • Under Section 39 of CROW it is an offence to fail to comply with an order of the Magistrate’s Court to remove an obstruction. So a landowner must not obstruct any right of way.
  • It is an offence under section 14 of CROW to display a notice that contains “any false or misleading information likely to deter the public from exercising” a right of way.
  • Land owners may be liable for personal injury under section 13 (6C) of CROW if they are reckless or intend to create a risk – for example by offering a dangerous alternative.

This means that

  • If a land owner offers an alternative route, they must ensure that it is safe to use and that the existing right of way is maintained so that users with differing abilities have a choice.
  • A notice must not imply that there is any doubt about the use of the existing right of way.

These temporary measures must be lifted as soon as social distancing measures are relaxed.

Wording for Signs

Defra also produced suggested wording for signs requesting the public to use an alternative path as follows:

Public right of way Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This path passes through a private garden/working farmyard/working stables.

An alternative and safe permitted path is available to maintain social distancing and protect residents and local communities.

If you wish to use the alternative route please follow the way markers along this temporary route.

In line with Defra and Public Health England advice:

Maintain social distancing requirements –

Ensure you keep at least 2 metres away from other people

Hand wash/sanitise after touching any shared surfaces, e.g. stiles/gates.

Keep dogs on a lead around livestock and away from other people/dogs.

Leave gates as you find them.

For paths with no possible alternative:

Public right of way Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This path crosses through farmland & close to local people’s homes and their families.

In line with Defra and Public Health England Advice:

Maintain social distancing requirements –

Ensure you keep at least 2 metres away from other people.

Hand wash/sanitise after touching any shared surfaces e.g. stiles/gates.

Keep dogs on a lead near livestock and away from other people/dogs

Walking Locally During Lockdown

91105177_209729207003249_4111715528404369408_n

The hysteria surrounding walking paths as a form of exercise during the current public lockdown has reached Holmfirth footpaths.  For clarity have a read of this link on the new law  bringing in the restrictions. You can walk public paths. There are no restrictions on driving a mile or two to do so. The police and all front line services have a difficult balancing act but it is   reported here  that they are now taking a more pragmatic approach to this issue and the drones have been grounded for now. West Yorkshire Police are reportedly not issuing warning letters for parked cars in walking areas locally. This LBQC   from St. John’s Chambers is also worth reading. Time to put the pitchforks away and be sensible.

Any signs such as the one above or obstructions should be reported to Kirklees in the usual manner here highways.ross@kirklees.gov.uk