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Thread: Pandemic footpaths

  1. #1
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    Pandemic footpaths

    There has been an unexpected consequence of "social distancing" on Public Rights Of Way around here; that the PROWs have actually become overgrown despite increased numbers of people walking in the countryside.

    Where a PROW is adjacent to a hedge, people have been stepping out into the field on the other side of the path (never mind the crops growing there!); and where a path is between two hedges, they have been going through gaps at field corners, to walk in the field on the other side of a hedge (in one place, a farmer locked the gate, but he seems to have given up now, and the gate is left open). This wasn't so much of a problem last year, but this Summer the trods in the fields have become so established that hardly anyone is using the proper PROW routes, which then become overgrown.

    I have been scrupulously staying on the PROWs. I have also been going out with my secateurs on several occasions -- but it's a losing battle. I'm the bloke running around the Leicestershire countryside with bramble scratches on his arms and legs.

    Have other people who train on PROWs over agricultural land found similar problems?
    In his lifetime he suffered from unreality, as do so many Englishmen.
    Jorge Luis Borges

  2. #2
    Senior Member Marco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonykay View Post
    Have other people who train on PROWs over agricultural land found similar problems?
    Although I live only about 25 miles from you, I have not noticed this on my local PROWS. Here in SE Staffordshire the paths are more worn, and a bit wider, than before but I have not seen any cases of 'alternative paths' springing up

  3. #3
    Master molehill's Avatar
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    Carrying a small pair of secateurs and clipping a few bits of undergrowth every time a walker goes out should be the norm. It would benefit everyone and keep the paths open, plus a bit of bashing with a stick. But it doesn't happen because most people are idle and expect someone else to do everything for them.
    I see it round here as even locals walk the dogs up paths that slowly become overgrown and then they abandon them and moan about it in the pub! If they all did 5 minutes clipping each time they went out it would keep local paths open.
    Don't roll with a pig in poo. You get covered in poo and the pig likes it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by molehill View Post
    Carrying a small pair of secateurs and clipping a few bits of undergrowth every time a walker goes out should be the norm. It would benefit everyone and keep the paths open, plus a bit of bashing with a stick. But it doesn't happen because most people are idle and expect someone else to do everything for them.
    I see it round here as even locals walk the dogs up paths that slowly become overgrown and then they abandon them and moan about it in the pub! If they all did 5 minutes clipping each time they went out it would keep local paths open.
    Family walks have recently become ‘gardening expeditions’ in addition to the litter pick.
    I haven’t noticed the diversion of PROWs but certainly the widening beyond the normal ‘avoiding puddles’.

  5. #5
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    Someone appears to have come along one of the worst stretches of footpath with a mechanical flail, doing a much more thorough job than I could ever do with my secateurs. It remains to see whether other people will start using the proper footpath now, rather than going into the field on the other side of the hedge.
    In his lifetime he suffered from unreality, as do so many Englishmen.
    Jorge Luis Borges

  6. #6
    Master PeteS's Avatar
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    Could have done with an alternative path on Sunday's run. Head high nettles and brambles to contend with even on what is a well used footpath.

    To be fair, Worcestershire CC are generally very good at keeping footpaths clear but obviously have a rota by which to send out the men in high vis with various petrol driven tools of destruction. Best avoided when running with a collie who has a deep aversion to loud noises and men in high vis ...

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