Cestrian Ramblers Footpaths Group
In order to assist the Ramblers’ Association’s aims of protecting the footpaths network for walkers, our Group’s Footpaths Section is monitoring the Public Rights of Way in our area of West Cheshire in support of Cheshire West and Chester Council.
We conduct Footpath Walks twice per month from March to November inclusive, usually on the 1st Tuesday and 3rd Wednesday, carrying out basic clearance work and reporting to the Council any serious problems encountered. We also look at cropping issues and associated reinstatement of footpaths. If you would like to join us, your help would be most welcome.
Our area of operations is part of that covered by Cheshire West and Chester (CWaC). This operational area extends from Chester to the north up to the Wirral Council boundary, north-east as far as the western boundaries of Frodsham, Helsby, Alvanley and Manley, east as far as the western boundaries of Oakmere, Little Budworth and Rushton, and south as far as the Shropshire and Welsh borders beyond Malpas. This area contains some 435 miles of footpaths and accounts for 56% of the footpaths in the whole of the CWaC area.
The Footpaths group consists of approximately 17 members and carries out limited maintenance work such as stile/kissing gate clearance and small obstruction removal (shrubs and small branches). Footpaths walks are organised twice per month with teams of about 6 volunteers equipped with secateurs, shears, loppers and small saws. We cover between 6 (1 team) and 12 (2 teams) miles for each outing.
A report is submitted after each outing detailing locations of any problems requiring further attention by CWaC, in particular larger obstruction issues that require heavier equipment to be used together with any required repairs to stiles/kissing gates/ fingerposts/waymark posts and other permanent furniture.
The first survey of footpaths in our area was carried out in 2002 – 2004, the second survey between 2007 and 2009, and the third survey between 2014 and 2017. The third survey inspected 415 miles of footpaths. The 4th survey was started in Jan 2018 and will include an extension of our area to 435 miles of footpaths.
Twice yearly meetings are held with the Greenspace Team from CWaC to discuss relevant issues. CWaC also keep our group informed of footpaths diversions and closures and solicit our views in regard to these issues.
Twice yearly meetings are also held with other footpath groups in Central and East Cheshire for items of common interest.
Despite having 17 volunteers, they are not always available and any other members who wish to help will be most welcome. We usually meet at the Black Dog pub car park in Waverton at 10.00 hrs and also use the pub for an after walk drink!