Trials and Tribulations (t & t) of Footpath Preservation

5th April 1998
Leader - Clive Bell
Meeting Place - Giggleswick Station, Giggleswick

We left the station car park on a dull day, quite mild, but the day did end in rain. My 'brief was to give some idea of the trials and tribulations of a Ramblers' Association Footpath Secretary and also to provide an interesting walk.

We started under the railway, then across the fields to Littlebank Barn and the first examples of 't & t's. A new dwelling is being built and already there are some slight obstructions across the public right of way on which an eye will have to be kept. Further on we found a major 't & t', part of Yorkshire Water's new pipeline snaking over the length of Craven from Embsay to Bentham, slicing through over fifty rights of way. There has been much correspondence before the work started, much monitoring during the work and a great deal more will be needed on completion to make sure paths are properly restored.

Then it was through the muddy grounds of Littlebank and across Coney Garth. Did the name spring from the ancient enclosure of an area to breed rabbits for flesh and fur? Next it was Swainstead Rake and down to the 'new' (1996) bridge across Rathmell Beck. The RA had complained about the state of the old bridge. There are problems around Rathmell Goir - mud and a blocked stile - but an interesting stone bridge (packhorse bridge?) got us across the goit. We went on passed Green, (a major obstruction here in 1993 resolved after much 't & t' in 1996)., to Hallin Hall, then to New Hall and into the rain, but it was not long before we trudged passed Little Bank again and back to the station.

An interesting walk? Well I enjoyed it, the views were fine, and I did find it difficult to prize some members of the party away from that stone bridge and from New Hall!

Remember, our public rights of way network does not remain open and pleasant to use by accident. It takes the work of many dedicated volunteers, So if you find a problem on a right of way don't shrug your shoulders and walk away, give me a ring - (01756) 799840. Your help will be appreciated.

Clive Bell