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Hodnet Footpath Group

WHO ARE WE?

We are a small friendly group of local people (all ages/sexes) who enjoy walking (country strolls rather than major cross country hikes/rambles !) but who are also focussed on helping to maintain/repair our local paths.

We came together as a result of the 2009/10 Parish Plan, and formed our group to help promote use of our local footpaths – essentially by making them both better known and easier to use. To that end, as well as working with Shropshire Council (as one of their official Parish Path Partnership ‘P3’ groups) and local landowners to improve access to/maintenance of our local paths, we also organise several group walks each year – accompanied children and dogs (on leads) always welcom on our walks.

You can join our group in full (attend meetings and work parties, etc.) or enrol as a ‘friend’ (i.e. simply be e-mailed information on our group walks – see HERE for current programme). Either way, ‘membership’ is free. For more details contact:

Chairman: Steve Alden Tel 01630 685697 or email

Secretary Mary Hardy Tel 01952 540970 or email

Image result for facebook logoYou can follow us on Facebook too.

WHAT DO WE DO/WHAT HAVE WE DONE?

Although we are fairly few in number, we think we have achieved quite a lot – as summarised below. That said, we’d welcome any extra help, so don’t leave it to others – do get in touch. No great skills are required to become involved, just enthusiasm and a friendly spirit.

We’ve improved the way-marking of all the local paths, and some further afield too – e.g. those heading towards Fauls, and also improved many stiles – but the more help we have, the more we can do!

When it comes to stiles, the photos below show some of our ‘before’ and ‘after’ work, first at a stile in Wollerton, then one at Hodnet, where we also wanted to improve access for dogs.

 

We have also produced seven walk leaflets, with others planned. Supplies have been placed in The Hodnet Village Stores; The Bear Hotel and the Hodnet Medical Centre. You can also view/download copies from the Local Walk Leaflet page in this website’s Tourism section.

Hadnet walk Leaflet

Our ‘big project’ was undoubtedly working with Shropshire Council/Hodnet Parish Council and a local landowner to help create a permissive footpath between Hodnet and Marchamley. Community support for this seemed strong, as evidenced by the results of the Parish Plan exercise of a few years ago, and a specific Parish Council questionnaire on this matter issued at the end of 2011.

The path opened in March 2013, and brief details plus its route can be viewed here. A video of the opening ceremony is available on this page.

In view of the benefits this path brings to Marchamley resident’s in particularly, we’d especially welcome anyone from there who wishes to join our group to at least help ‘keep an eye on things’ from that end of our community.

We have also played a part in the work of (re)establishing legal access to the Wollerton Wetlands from Wollerton and in encouraging Shrophsire Council to maintain it – use this link for more information.

2016 – New kit

After the path from Websters farm to the Espley roudnabout was recently cleared for us by the Shropshire Council’s Outdoor Recreation team, see separate post, they suggested we accept an offer of a free strimmer/bushcutter to help us maintain it, and other local paths, in future. This has now arrived, and we’re looking forward to using it. Thanks SC.

HODNET FOOTPATH GROUP'S NEW [2016] STRIMMER/BUSHCUTTER KIT

HODNET FOOTPATH GROUP’S NEW [2016] STRIMMER/BUSHCUTTER KIT

MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

Where can I walk?

Shropshire Council have a great interactive map on their website, which contains a side menu allowing users to mark their location and add details such as all (or different types of) rights of way, lanes, council boundaries, and all sorts of other useful information. You can access it via this LINK

They also have webpages dedicated to Countryside Access and Rights of Way, see HERE and a page about P3 schemes too. plus much more……

Local walking groups

From time to time we receive enquiries from people looking for a local walking group. Requirements as to location, length, suitable time of the week etc. all vary enormously, so we have compiled a list of some regular activities in N. Shropshire and hope it will prove a useful starter for your investigations. It can be downloaded here. (Information correct to the best of our knowledge in March 2015.)

Dog Walkers

Many people who use country paths do so to walk their dogs, and without them many paths would be much harder to use/follow. However, irresponsible dog ownership can cause problems. See this website post from 2016.

Only 9 years to go to 2025 = PROW DEADLINE

Current legislation proposes the end of 2025 as the last date any path not currently shown on the ‘definitive map’ as a public right of way (PROW) can be claimed as such – subject to the usual legal process. So if you know of a local path that you feel has been in use for at least 20 continuous years (without landowner challenge) now is perhaps the time to alert us or Shropshire Council’s Outdoor Recreation team to it. Once its gone its gone!