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Parish footpath warden

Explore Cosgrove’s Public Footpaths, Bridleways and Canal Tow Paths.

If you find a problem please report it to the Parish Path Warden, who will advise how to raise it with the Rights of Way officer for our area. He will attempt to visit the problem area within a few days and determine the severity of the issue. He also likes to know when you’ve enjoyed a walk through the parish and seen anything of interest.

Photographs of village sites can also be viewed on our CosgroveVillage Facebook site.

Cosgrove viewed from the Big Grounds Cosgrove viewed from the Big Grounds

Cosgrove Parish Footpaths & Rights of Way (Updated 09/04/2022)

As Easter approaches, weather forecasts are indicating that warm air from the south will be raising temperatures over the United Kingdom. With it dry under foot, it's ideal for having a change and taking a walk in the open countryside.

During the height of Covid, where the rail industry was affected by reduced travellers, the maintenance sector was left with a greatly reduced workload. This affected me by being placed on furlough every Friday for a number of weeks. As the saying goes "it's an ill wind that doesn't blow some good" and that certainly came true in my case. The suggestion to a friend that they join me on a cross field walk with the dog, became a regular Friday event and a couple of weeks later, we were joined by another keen walking friend. Realising how enjoyable this was becoming, I broadened the invitation to two other mates, who had been through difficult life experiences in the previous year. The group gelled so well, that when I returned to full time work again, the group have continued to meet and walk circular routes to suit weather conditions on the day.

Exercise and walking in the countryside are encouraged for everyone, with the benefits to health being highly supported by medical practitioners. Over the past year, I've met many people who've recently settled in Cosgrove and it's been great to hear how much they enjoy living here and exploring our network of bridleways and footpaths. In the parish of Cosgrove, many of our footpaths link, providing options for circular walks. Many circular routes provide the opportunity to arrive at the Barley Mow or the Navigation for lunchtime or evening refreshment.   

If out dog walking, you are reminded of your responsibility to pick up after your dog. Bins are provided throughout the village, with specific red dog poo bins placed where dogs are walked regularly. Please remember that all our paths are walked by others and they want to enjoy their walk without having to watch out for dog mess, as nobody wants to tread in it. This applies in fields too, as all our footpaths cross privately owned land and many will be used for grazing cattle and sheep. Our farmers appreciate walkers that keep to the footpaths and dog walkers that keep their pets under control, especially near grazing animals. Please don't put their cattle at risk of disease from eating excrement, so please do your best to pick up after your dog. If cattle are attracted to dog walkers, the NFU advise to release the dog and allow it to escape to safety. Cattle are less likely to crowd humans, when the dog is set free, but always be aware of their curiosity and behaviour. 

Walking our Rights of Way provides us with many different views of our countryside, as well as the chance to see wildlife not seen in built up areas. A number of footpaths lead to remote areas and also out of the parish, so always let someone know where you intend to walk and take your mobile phone with you. Using an app on your mobile phone may also add to the interest, as you can see how far you've walked and the option to share with others to show where you've been. These are available in your app store and don't need to cost. I use Map my Walk and Strava, which both provide accurate details in this area. On an occasion where I'd ventured into an adjacent parish where the path wasn't clear or marked, I managed to check my location by calling up the map from the Village walks page of the website. The GPS signal showed my location and as I zoomed in on the map, found that I was still on the footpath, despite the best efforts of the landowner to obscure access. Thankfully we don't have any issues of that nature in our parish.  

Don’t be put off getting out there, as our footpaths are safe and problems are extremely rare.

Improvements in the parish over the past few years have provided improved access to the countryside for everyone. Installation of kissing gates and removal of stiles make it easier for people with reduced mobility to access footpaths. A report last week from a walker made me aware of a problem opening a kissing gate on a bridlepath. After checking the issue, I later returned and re-aligned the gate to allow it to open and close properly, as well as latch correctly. Being a path used for horse riding, it was best to check the other three kissing gates on the section of path. Minor adjustments now made to these gates should keep the path easily accessible to all users.

Walking is one of the best forms of exercise and helps improve our general health, so even if it’s just a stroll around the village, you can be assured that it will help make you feel good and aid relaxation.

David A. Smith (Cosgrove Parish Path Warden)