Walk Draycott’s footpaths

It seems we are due another heatwave before this summer is over – so… why not take a stroll around some of Draycott’s many country footpaths now, and enjoy the good weather?
Believe it or not, there are fourteen miles of footpaths in our small district alone!

Stile by Draycott Church Hall

Recently repaired stile – by Draycott Church Hall

To help you find a good walk, there is a small and helpful booklet outlining three of the best local walks.  Published a few years ago now by the Parish Council, it had been thought that there were no more copies left, but some more have turned up – and are now available behind the bar at The Draycott Arms.
The three walks can also be downloaded at this webpage.

The three walks are not too long: one is round Totmonslow, one round Blythe Marsh, and one round Cresswell. The maps are excellently well-drawn, but, if you want close-up details, it’s best to also have a copy of Ordnance Survey map ‘Explorer 258’.
Just ask at The Arms for a copy of the booklet:  it’s called ‘Draycott in The Moors Walks’.

(Incidentally, next-door Milwich Parish have put out a similar booklet too, and some of their walks go through the southern end of Draycott parish.  You can get a copy of that booklet at The Green Man pub in Milwich).

And, by the way, if you are a member of group which likes walking in the morning, The Draycott Arms is also offering something a special service called ‘a walker’s breakfast’.  If you give the pub a call 48 hours in advance, they will open their doors early just to cook you breakfast!  Sounds like a deal…

Maintenance … and problems

As you’d guess, there is quite a degree of maintenance that has to go on to keep the local footpaths and stiles shipshape and accessible.

Because the county council’s Rights Of Way department  has been slimmed down so much, it’s now expected that ramblers groups  and local parish councils will the department’s eyes and ears.  In fact Draycott PC takes that responsibility seriously, surveying the paths round here a lot.
If you want to help in that task, the parish council is looking for volunteers.  Or, if you are at the Milwich end of the parish area, you could also ask Milwich PC if you could join their Milwich footpath group.

Footpath stile by Willow Farm

The plaque on this stile by Willow Farm on Sandon Road indicates it has been restored by Stone Ramblers group

Stone Ramblers group also undertakes footpath maintenance in Draycott district.

However, you don’t have to join a working party!
If you spot a problem on footpaths, you can simply notify the parish council, or you can report it on the county’s Rights Of Way Report It Online webpage

And we do have occasional problems – even here in little Draycott.
One problem issue that has come up recently is: whatever happened to the disappeared seven stiles and footpath-signs near Paynsley Hall Farm in Cresswell?  For over five years, this has been a puzzle.  The parish council is looking into it.
(Incidentally, though the signs through Paynsley Hall Farm are not there currently, it is on a route of a great walk between Cresswell and Newton – one that is not on the Draycott booklet – which lets one see our section of the River Blithe properly.)

Oddities

And there are even some oddities too.

On Cheadle Road, you’ll find the so-called  Jacob’s Ladder, a set of steps that take you up the side of the hill.

Footpath into garden at Brookside

This footpath leads off a field … into a garden of a house in Brookside

And, believe it or not, there are three different footpaths in Draycott that take you right through somebody’s garden!  We always find it embarassing to use these routes, but some of the owners have told us that they don’t mind at all, so long as walkers are polite, so it must be okay…

***
To comment on what you have read here, or to leave any thoughts you have about the local footpaths,  just use the comments box below.
You do not have to leave your email address (which is always kept private anyway and never passed on), but, if you don’t, that means you might miss any feedback.

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3 responses to “Walk Draycott’s footpaths

  1. Overgrown footpaths

    I thought you would appreciate a communication on the subject of the local footpaths.

    Last Tuesday, we took in one of our favourite Draycott walks.
    From the path at the top of the hill opposite Blythe Cricket Club, towards Blythe Bridge, over the A50 bridge and over the field, into Blythe, left into Stallington Lane. Follow the lane up to the top of the hill at Stallington, over the fields to Fulford. Up past the church and follow the footpath until eventually you reach the footpath at the back of the Greyhound, (Saverley Green caravan park). BUT, here’s where it got awkward: you have a hedge on your left, a chain link fence on your right and six foot weeds, brambles, nettles where previously there was a clear path. Eventually after fighting through for about fifty yards we found a gap in the fence and exited through the caravan park.

    Meanwhile, today, we went up the old railway track to Totmonslow, picked up the footpath that takes you up the side of the old bed & breakfast and along the ridge, taking you eventually to the Jacob’s Ladder steps on the Cheadle Road. Then we walked up the hill from Totmonslow over the stile and tried to walk up the field following the ridge. Problem: this path that used to be well-used is now totally overgrown with ferns, brambles, nettles, thistles, etc. After fighting through said growth, we eventually managed to get down to Jacob’s Ladder and home.

    The point of all this graphic description is to say that if all these miles of footpath we have within our parish are not walked we will finish up with ancient footpaths that have ceased to exist.
    Meanwhile, we now are looking for a cure for bramble scratches and nettle stings…

    JC

    PS As a addendum, the pathway at the back of the Greyhound has been reported to Fulford Parish Council and they have given the report a job number. We have brought up the Totmonslow walk with Draycott Parish Council and hope that will get some attention too.

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  2. Footpaths in private gardens

    Talking of footpaths through private gardens: I walk a lot of the footpaths in the district and yes, it is sometimes awkward when the path is through gardens.
    However, purchasers are made aware of this when purchasing the property/and /or land and so the walker/user should not be made to feel uncomfortable about using the right of way.
    These rights of way are ancient public paths that were there long before some of the properties in question.

    If the householder feels uncomfortable with walkers passing through, then fencing or screening off the footpath from the rest of the garden is surely a compromise?
    In some cases footpaths can be re routed; perhaps this is also an option that needs to be discussed if rights of way and access are becoming a problem?

    Bev Reardon

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  3. Help with footpaths

    Excellent post about the footpaths; and thanks for the mention of our Milwich Walks Booklet and the footpath group.

    If you need any help setting up a Draycott group I would be happy to help. Or if you find you have only a couple of volunteers and you want some additional labour (complete with all tools and materials if required) then I and possibly others would be pleased to assist, as we want to make footpaths everywhere more useable.
    Best Wishes, Paul Ritson (Milwich Footpath Group)

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