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Parish path 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 02/12/2021)

The early arrival of snow has made us all wonder what winter has in store for us. The positive view is that the frozen ground provides decent walking conditions, as long as you take care. The negative comes when it thaws and it's likely to be too wet to visit some areas of the parish.

Walking groups of all ages have been in the parish recently, enjoying the varied routes and places of interest we have available. It's been great meeting some of them and finding out how far they've travelled to get to our village.

Most paths are identified by fingerposts at the access points and waymarkers along the route. Please let me know if  any paths are not clearly marked and I'll endeavour to improve the situation. Recently raised Problem Reports have enabled a damaged stile to be replaced and hazards removed where risk to walkers and horse riders were identified. The Rights of Way officer serving West Northamptonshire Council is always quick to respond and takes action to have these corrected, usually within 28 days.

Exercise and walking in the countryside is encouraged for everyone, with the benefits to health being highly supported by medical practitioners. Over the past year, I've met a number of people that have 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. These improvements are made by Rights of Way at West Northamptonshire Council, so considering the difficult situation the previous council experienced, we have been very well supported.

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)

E-mail: david.smith@cosgroveparishcouncil.org.uk