Good with words

Fear... distractions.... the efforts of a self-employed writer to pay the mortgage.... all that jazz.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Right of Way My Ass

I studied the Ordnance Survey map very carefully this morning to figure out where to take the dog. There are three or four routes marked as 'Public Footpaths' leading out from the village, so we picked one and set out.

So you start up in this field; there is a green signpost saying 'Public Footpath' with a pointer; and you carry on up a (V.Steep) hill, and at the top is a lovely sign explaining how the hill used to be part of a cherry orchard and is now a New Footpath. You carry on, past some of the shaggy moo-cows, and then you come to another gate and a stile.

This is when it begins to come clear that someone really doesn't want you to use this 'Public' Footpath. The gates are tied up very tightly with lots of rope. The stile has barbed wire across the bottom half of it, and the mud on either side has been churned up by tractors. The next part of the so-called 'Footpath' is actually just a very muddy field with a few rows of crops in it. Still, we continued - Holly squeezed through a gap in the gate - and went on down the field, getting mooed at and frightened by scarecrows.

At the bottom is where it really all falls apart. Despite a lovely, shiny green 'Footpath' sign pointing in three directions, there is really no passable route. Apart from the fact that the gates are, again, festooned with barbed wire and tied with ropes, there are trenches of mud on one side; crops on another side; a big pile of rusty iron junk (humph) blocking the path towards the village. The only thing to do, after stopping and thinking while the dog barks at the cows, is turn back.

We walked all round their stupid field and I stood on as many young crops as possible. In my wellies.

I am going to write a complaining letter as soon as I work out who to send it to.....


  • At 2:56 AM, Blogger Liz said…

    The Ramblers Association, they're very keen on footpaths.

    Or Lynda Snell in the Archers.


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