Here`s a quick summary of some of the issues facing the Ramblers in various part of the country ;
Devon / Dartmoor (The Dartmoor Way)
The Dartmoor Way is a long distance footpath created by towns and villages in the area a decade ago.
Unfortunately, it is not sufficiently publicized and is inadequately signposted and is therefore under-used.
Devon Ramblers have unveiled plans for an extensive relaunch which includes extending the path southwards to Ivybridge, making the total route over 100 miles long. The project is still open to consultation, and interested parties can submit their views by completing an online survey at http://www.ruraldevon.org/ . The closing date for submissions is 20 September 2010.
The Ramblers believe that London`s historic network of footpaths - including parts of the Thames Park National Trail - is under threat from developers. In every other city in Britain local authorities are compelled by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to draw up `definitive maps` detailing protected local paths, but Inner London Boroughs are not obliged to do so.
The Ramblers say they are seeing well-used footpaths being "disregarded, blocked and built across". They argue that campaigners will be unable to use the laws intended to protect paths until London councils are legally obliged to record their rights of way.
Their campaign is called Putting London on the Map and has begun with an online petition at http://www.ramblers.org.uk/ .
Bayham Abbey (Tunbridge Wells - Kent / East Sussex)
During the early `80s, the Marquis of Camden sold off the land of Bayham Abbey estate in individual lots and public access was prevented. Tunbridge Wells Ramblers have been campaigning for many years for two footpaths across the area in question to be re-opened .
A Public Inquiry is scheduled for 6 December 2010. However, much of the evidence the group collected was in the form of statements taken from witnesses in 1998 and many of those individuals are now unavailable or cannot be traced.
They are keen to hear from anyone who walked on paths across the estate before the early 1980s and is willing/able to testify and/or supply a statement. Any interested parties, please e-mail The Ramblers at firstname.lastname@example.org , marking your message `For the Attention of Anastasia French` , before 1 October 2010.
Devon / Dartmoor (Vixen Tor)
Vixen Tor is a Dartmoor landmark, known for it`s distinctive sphinx-shaped rocky outcrop. For some time now, the landowner has prevented access to this site. Devon County Council, The Ramblers and other outdoor groups are committed to fighting the landowner and re-instating access. A Public Inquiry is scheduled for 23 November 2010. Further info at http://www.walkmag.co.uk/ .
Cairngorms National Park Authority has approved a major new development by the River Spey which would double the size of nearby Aviemoor. The scheme, which includes the building of 1,500 houses, has been given the go-ahead despite a warning from the Scottish Government that it breached planning guidelines.
Ramblers Scotland intend making the matter an issue during the May 2010 Scottish Parliamentary elections. Details at www.ramblers.org.uk/scotland.
Other Articles of a Rambling Nature ;
Kinder Conservation and a Historic Mass Trespass, 1 November 2009, online at The Graphopone.
Rambling Through Adversity, 10 December 2009, online at Bookshelves and Brown Ale.
John Muir`s Blue Sierra, 12 December 2009, online at The Graphophone.
Ramblers Revisited, 13 March 2010, online at Bookshelves and Brown Ale.
Ramblers Revisited Again, 10 May 2010, online at The Graphophone.
Rambles Roundup, 7 June 2010, online at The Graphophone.