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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.

Bridleway RG1 Bridleway RG1

Cosgrove Parish Footpaths & Rights of Way (Updated 13/10/2023)

After a Summer that has helped produce some of the tallest patches of stinging nettles encountered for some time, we start to recognise that Autumn has arrived. Temperatures now are more comfortable for walking and clothing can be adjusted to suit. Weather Apps on mobile phones help with planning a walk, as they forecast the likelihood of rain by the hour, so you can check when is the best time to be out.
Walkers have reported issues with cattle during the summer, especially if they're grazing with their young. In my experience, if you notice that your presence in their meadow has inspired interest from them, it may be best to turn back. Often their attention is drawn towards a dog, but that hasn't been the case in reports I've had this year. In my instances, I've picked up my dog and carried on, with the cattle losing interest, but in another encounter I was forced to release him and let him run to a safe location, while I walked through without any further interest from them. Although it's difficult to predict how the weather will turn out this month, normally the cattle are moved inside towards the end of the month.
The guidance states: If cattle follow you try to stay calm and walk quickly and quietly round the herd. Don't get between cows and their calves. Walk round the herd and re-join the path when safe. If you have a dog, keep it on a short lead around cows and sheep, but release if threatened by cattle so you can both get to safety separately.
It's nice to walk somewhere different and see the different views our Parish and surrounding area have to offer. To help provide a few ideas, an easy access map, showing bridleways and public footpaths is available to view here

Exercise and walking in the countryside are encouraged for everyone, with the benefits to health being highly supported by medical practitioners. Meeting people while out and about with the dog provides many opportunities to hear how much people are enjoying exploring our network of bridleways and footpaths.
The parish of Cosgrove has many paths that link with each other, providing many options for circular walks. Planned routes also provide the opportunity to visit the Barley Mow, the Navigation or the cafe in the shop at the entrance to Cosgrove Park, for refreshment of choice.   

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 our footpaths are walked by others, and they want to enjoy their walk without having to watch out for dog mess. 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)