Walking the Walk

I have just been proofreading a little book about Public Paths for Pitkin. Not a book to guide you along specific walks but a general handbook about the origins of ancient rights of way in England and Wales (paths, cattle droves, Roman roads etc) and the different types of public path now in existence. The book explains that all local authorities are required to keep a record of public rights of way on their patch (a Definitive Map) and – if one is prepared to put the research in – it is still possible to resurrect ancient rights that have fallen into disuse and been forgotten. It’s a bit of a Rambler’s call to arms! But activist walkers often do good work and we are lucky in this country to have so many public footpaths.

My husband came gleefully back from a walk with a girlfriend of mine whom he rather fancies but who remains seductively single and announced that he and she had just been along a ‘permissive path’ before turning onto a ‘bridle way’. I told him he should have dispensed with so much commitment (not to mention bigamy) and escorted her to one of those byways ‘open to all traffic’.

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