Our Public Footpaths

Reading the agenda for Wednesday 1st June APC meeting I noticed item 12(iv) about the proposed Anston Bridleway.  This will run from Woodsetts Road to Swinston Hill Road.

There is evidence the route has been used by horse riders since 1958 without opposition from the landowners and farmers therefore there has been at least 20 years of uninterrupted use.

RMBC also propose to upgrade the existing Anston footpath to a bridleway status, and a section of the Dinnington footpath. There will be a new section of bridleway through Swinston Hill Woods which will join the Dinnington Bridleway.

The creation and preservation of footpaths and bridleways is important because on 1 January 2026 – not ten years away – the official (definitive) maps will be closed against the addition of paths claimed on the basis of historic evidence.  Unrecorded paths, even if they are still in use, could and often will be lost for ever.  Paths you know and love could be among them.

The Countryside & Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW Act) is a balanced package of measures that allow people to enjoy more of the countryside whilst providing safeguards for landowners and occupiers.   http://jncc.defra.gov.ukpage-1378                                                  It has created a new statutory right of access and modernised the rights of way system. Part I of the Act gives people the ‘right to roam’ on foot across mountain, moor, heath and down,in addition to registered common land.
Part II of the CROW Act changes public rights of way law in a number of ways including, introducing a cut off date for recording historic rights of way, providing greater access opportunities to existing routes for people with mobility problems and amending enforcement procedures to combat driving motor vehicles off road and failing to remove obstructions.

We must claim those paths which, with the backing of historic evidence, we believe to be public highways.  If we do not claim them, most will be lost for ever.  But with hundreds, potentially thousands, of paths to investigate and record, a massive and urgent effort is required.

 

Further reading:  http://www.rotherham.gov.uk/corestrategyexamination/download/downloads/id/446/leb35_rmbc_rights_of_way_improvement_plan_2007.pdf
http://www.oss.org.uk/what-we-do/rights-of-way/
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12 Responses to Our Public Footpaths

  1. jeff says:

    Many of the local footpaths and bridleways are impassable due to overgrown hedges and undergrowth. I have reported this problem to one of our new borough councillors. Hopefully he can get things moving. I have every confidence as he is an old Anstonian having lived in the village for nearly 50 years.

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  2. Insider. says:

    Back on topic……………..
    Some information readers might find useful before they leap to their keyboards.

    Are all footpaths rights of way?
    No.There are many paths that the public are able to use that are not legally rights of way and therefore do not enjoy the same protection. Paths crossing public parks and open spaces, commons and other sites to which the public has formal or de facto access may not necessarily be rights of way, though some of them are. Other paths, known as permissive routes, are open to the public because the owner has given permission for them to be used (often there is a notice on the path making it clear that the owner has no intention of dedicating the path as a right of way) and reserving the right to withdraw the permission. These paths are sometimes closed for one day a year, with a view to preventing claims that they are rights of way. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 provides a right of access to mapped areas of mountain, moor land, down land, heath land and registered common land, be it on tracks and paths or off them.

    Who owns the paths?
    Public Rights of Way are rights to pass and repass over private land. As such the path is owned by the landowner. In respect of maintenance, the highway authority (RMBC) have a duty to ensure that the path is free from obstruction so as to allow users to pass and repass over it. Any physical barrier preventing access; as an example overgrown vegetation or a tree blocking the way, would be the highway authority’s responsibility to get cleared.

    Anston Parish Council does not have a lot of influence or authority over public footpaths despite what some of this blog’s keyboard warriors think.

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    • Watchman says:

      From 4pm today until 10pm tomorrow (Sunday) this site will not be moderated.
      Any and all comments which do not address the topic under discussion will be deleted.
      Thank you for your co-operation.

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  3. m ward says:

    Foot paths probably provide some of the most popular places for wildlife and flowers As for apc forming a open spaces committee to deal with such matters of an environment plan can you please tell us when this will happen who will be giving advice on such a plan what experts will you consult cost an expenditure on site evaluation this kind of plan can be very costly

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  4. christine sadler says:

    On the subject of Anston village green, hopefully the wildlife on this site will breath a sigh of relief shortly when APC form a committee for conservation and implement a management plan, a place where all that is wild will be protected, except of course for Hector—who the heck is Hector and has he written any books on his chosen subject, hope not say the bats.

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  5. Leaving verges for wildlife refuges and wild flowers left to thrive is of course what is being adopted somewhat nationwide but not at Anston Parish Council. The Village Green rich in wild flowers was cut down yesterday..i.e. no nectar for bees, insects and butterflies – the insects being the food chain for the bats. Today they are here again scalping what is left. Is it 2 fingers up to those who have drawn attention to this? What directions are being given to the ground workers by the admin staff if any! If this is what our Parish Tax is being wasted on then I would suggest they are short of work and keeping the public footpaths clear would be a service to the public – however in light of the past and present destruction of habitat perhaps not.
    RMBC has a Bio Diversity Plan – They seed verges and leave these to proliferate. Where is Anston Parish Council’s Bio Diversity Plan? Or is it just let the ground workers do as they please?

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    • hector says:

      Maybe the bats could live in their natural habitat, the large trees adjacent to the green. Plenty of insects to feed on there. Grassland is not a natural habitat for bats. Oh and of course Anston Stones Wood is ideal. Who wants an over grown wilderness at the heart of the village.

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    • Watchman says:

      I appreciate your comment but…………………..
      It is straying from the thread content.
      “Our Public Footpaths”

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    • Emma Taylor says:

      I think Hectors response sums up APC’s attitude to wildlife and its management. If you read the post to which you replied it clearly states about implications to the local food chain and not grassland being a habitat for bats. If you were suitably informed you would be aware that management of grassland has a direct impact on diversity and abundance of insect life and in turn the species that rely on them. Having a homogenous uniform structure as is per the norm with APC’s management regime does nothing for local biodiversity. As for the comment of an “overgrown wilderness” that really compounds my previous remarks about a lack of knowledge on the subject….and of course bats just stay in Anston stones wood and go no further to feed……..
      If you were informed on the subject you would be aware that the majority of bat species in Anston feed on the wing and do not glean, hence the irrelevance of your comments on the trees. Any insects within the trees are likely to have a symbiotic relationship with those of the grassland.
      Apologies for going off topic admin but I think that needed to be addressed as it sums up APC’s management regime…….. Misinformed and mismanaged.

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    • Watchman says:

      How did we leap from Public footpaths to bats and their habitat?
      I must have missed a quantum leap in logic. Anston Stones Wood is a SSSI site is it not? Therefore other than cutting the grass nothing else is or can be cut or chopped there.

      I know nothing about bats that is why I’ve never commented on them but I extend an invitation to you and others to send me a cogent and readable article on bats or biodiversity.
      Any other comments which are have no relevance to our footpaths will be deleted.

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  6. Insider. says:

    Miss Sales should be aware all public footpaths are the responsibility of RMBC, there is no direct cost to Anston residents.
    I do agree some of the public footpaths are overgrown and the edges could be trimmed back a little way but I would suggest leaving the the verges uncut because it encourages wildlife and there are some wildflowers which should be left to thrive.

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  7. miss f sales says:

    It’s ok and a perfectly good idea to have extensive footpath network but maintenance will be the big issue as it is now some paths are barely passable at times

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