Do you care about the condition of your local footpath network?
Local Authorities have a legal responsibility for ensuring our network of public rights of way [PROWs] are maintained in an acceptable condition. However, such is the volume of PROWs that with their limited resources, it is impracticable for them to implement a comprehensive proactive maintenance strategy. Thus, a lot of their work is responsive to reported problems.
East Yorkshire and Derwent's varied walks programme enables members to gain knowledge of PROWs across our geographical area and report identified problems. Indeed many problems would go unreported but for Ramblers' members.
So, if you do care about footpath conditions you could help to keep an eye on paths in your Parish area by highlighting problems and assessing the impact of any proposed changes to footpaths.
At Group and Area level, volunteers are in place as Footpaths Officer with a broad remit in respect of PROWs. One part of their work is a rolling programme of footpath surveys. This entails walking each footpath within a parish boundary to assess conditions and reporting back to local authorities as necessary. Help in this area is always needed and anyone interested will be given training and mentored as necessary.
If you can spare a few days each year then why not talk to your Group's Footpaths Officer or Secretary.
NB: Recommended reading for anyone interested in footpath work is The Secrets of Countryside Access, produced by East Berkshire Ramblers PO Box 1357, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 7FP [Cost £3.50 + £1.25 postage but check rates].