LAST year, the Ramblers, the national organisation for walkers, announced an ambitious project to protect and improve our
LAST year, the Ramblers, the national organisation for walkers, announced an ambitious project to protect and improve our glorious footpaths in England and Wales.
The idea was to get volunteers to walk every path in the country and report on their state. Volunteers were asked to adopt a grid square on the Ordnance Survey map and, wherever they walked, to use a handy app or the internet to report what they found. It could be a wonky bridge, locked gate, flooded path or fallen tree.
Ramblers, working in conjunction with other interested parties (in our case Oxfordshire County Council and the Chiltern Society Path Maintenance Volunteers), would then try to get it fixed.
They would also celebrate the wonderful things seen — like a beautiful view or amazing wildlife. The aim is to keep our paths open for everyone to enjoy. A target was set to complete the survey by the end of December.
Henley and Goring Ramblers were allocated 259 grid squares to walk and report on. The last one was completed before Christmas.
A total of 485 features were reported in our area. Some were things needing improvement such as fallen trees, poor signage and muddy paths. Many more related to beautiful views, benches, places to eat and interesting flora. We found that the paths are generally well maintained. They are certainly well loved both by local walkers and by many others who come from far and wide to enjoy them.
We are lucky in our area to have wonderful scenery and a rich network of paths which are generally well maintained and signposted. This is largely thanks to the volunteers who work hard all year round.
We regularly lead local walks which are listed in the Henley Standard. No need to book, just turn up!