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Loss of Woodland Footpath in Lode parish. Cambridgeshire walkers lose their access to woodland after a public footpath has been blocked for many years. The Inspector considering a disputed application for two footpath diversions says that paths outside the woodland are “easier to navigate”. Heaven forbid that this becomes the norm for planning decisions!

Two public rights of way (footpaths) through woodland near Lode have been blocked for many years, with no attempt by the landowner to unblock them. The Planning Inspector’s report makes no mention of this blockage, which included threatening warning signs such as ‘CCTV cameras’. The Inspector has agreed with the landowner’s newly proposed path diversions to avoid going through the wood. The Inspector’s report says: “[the diversion is] ..easier to navigate than through an area containing bodies of water, trees, and undulating grassed areas”.

The small White Fen Wood is described by the Inspector as ‘a relatively small cluster of trees that are an anomaly in this relatively open and flat landscape’. But the wood is a small remnant of a much larger wooded area and provides a wonderful haven which we would like to see extended. Luckily the National Trust has been active in planting new woodland nearby, alongside the Lodes Way cycle route linking Lode and Wicken Fen.

Janet Moreton. It is very sad to report that Janet Moreton has died. Janet, together with her husband Roger, was a champion of South Cambridgeshire’s rights of way which she looked after for over 30 years as our local Ramblers’ Footpaths Secretary, resigning from this critical post only recently.

Janet’s funeral was on Friday 23rd February at 1pm, at The Lodge, Barton Glebe Woodland Burial Ground.

Potential public footpath claim in Wimpole – evidence of use sought. We are considering making a claim for two well-used paths in the Wimpole/Orwell area to be added to the ‘Definitive Map’ for Cambridgeshire, using evidence of uninterrupted use by the public for a period of at least 20 years. This claim for a ‘Definitive Map Modification Order’ or DMMO, uses the same legislation as was successfully employed recently to add the footpath up Castle Mound in Cambridge to the public rights of way network.

Route A is short and crosses two grassed fields, linking the lane next to Home Farm to the main drive to Wimpole Hall. There are gates at both ends and also one between the fields. Part of the route, running NE to SW, is marked by stones set in the grass.  The SW end of the path used to emerge at the east end of the ‘old’ Wimpole Hall car park. The route is very well used by anyone walking to/from the public footpath rising past Cobbs Wood Farm up to the Mare Way and over to the Eversdens. In very recent months the gates have been reported to be padlocked shut. The path is marked on current OS maps as a black-dotted line.

Route B is much longer and is sometimes known as the ‘Victoria Carriage Drive’. It runs between the eastern end of the main drive to Wimpole Hall and then runs east to meet the A603 close to Orwell village. There are metal gates for pedestrians at each end and a wooden gate en-route. The path follows a hard-surfaced track for much of the way and provides a delightful walk, predominantly through woodland. It is clearly marked on OS maps.

Both paths have been highlighted on the ‘Don’t Lose Your Way’ map because there is evidence of their long-term historic use as public paths. But we also believe that there is also evidence of regular, unchallenged and unhindered use in recent years – hence the desire to compile evidence of use since 2001.

You don’t need to have walked one or both paths for twenty years to provide evidence! But what we do need to know is when you have used the path(s) and if you have ever been aware of attempts to stop public access. If you are willing to provide evidence of use then you will need to complete a form and provide a map of where you consider the path(s) run. The Ramblers will provide both the forms and a map which you can print off and trace a route on.

Please contact Jill if you are willing to help add these paths to the public rights of way! She can send you the relevant forms which we need to provide evidence. Her email is:

The two routes are shown below

Wimpole map

Cambridge Castle Mound footpath. The footpath to the top of Cambridge Castle Mound has now been officially confirmed as a Public Right of Way. Cambridge Ramblers first applied for this footpath to be added to the Definitive Map back in 2019 after Cambs County Council had proposed to sell the site. This would have meant that access to the Mound would not have been legally protected. Now that it has been ordered that the footpath be added to the Definitive Map, its public status is assured even if the site is sold in the future.

DLYW update. Ramblers have now published their their “Map of lost paths”. You will need to log into your Ramblers’ account to see it. You may see old paths in your local area. But we suggest that you treat the blue lines as rough data subject to a number of outstanding issues, including inaccuracies, errors and not taking account of path diversions, closures, etc. You should read the FAQs at the bottom of the map.

Willingham footpaths. From Willingham News, December 2020. “Willingham is a rural village surrounded by farmland which is full of paths, ways and droves. These paths have been commonly used for centuries but have been especially important over the past few months for walkers. Being able to walk in the countryside has been important for all – I have met couples, entire families and lone walkers over the past months.
“However, it might surprise you to know that there are practically no registered pathways in Willingham, as there are in the surrounding villages. For some reason our right to walk the pathways of Willingham is not recorded.
“If you have walked the paths of Willingham over the past 15-20 years, I would love to hear from you. Despite how built up Willingham and the surrounding area becomes we could preserve the right to walk for generations to come. Please help. You can contact me at or by phone on 07747 613256. Steph Thomas”
[December 2020]

Victory for Cambridgeshire Ramblers as five level crossings are saved. Cambridgeshire Ramblers are celebrating after saving five important level crossing public rights of way from closure. A public inquiry has found in favour of keeping a number of the routes open after members of the public and organisations – including the Ramblers and Cambridgeshire County Council – objected to the closures. Jill Tuffnell, Secretary of Cambridge Ramblers, was delighted with the decision and said: “Common sense has prevailed, and the Secretary of State has appreciated the value of the path network both for everyday journeys and for recreational and health use.” For more information see the Press Release here.

Wimpole Hall’s new charging policy. If you are organising a walk from Wimpole Hall, please be aware that they have introduced a new entry and charging policy if you’re arriving by car. The old charge of £2 per car has been scrapped. There is now a new car park with its own dedicated entrance to the estate. Whilst there is no fee to park a car, entrance to the estate (including buildings) from the car park costs £15.50 (adult) per individual. There is no entrance fee for National Trust members. Pre-booked groups can get non-NT members access to the estate (not buildings) for £5 per person. You can still walk along the main drive (which is a Public Right of Way) for free, from the public roads to the east and West of Wimpole Hall, but care would need to be taken on the eastern public road where there is no pavement. We have complained to the National Trust about the large increase in prices for those just wanting to park and walk in the estate.

Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood. The winner of the Ramblers’ Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood award for 2019 was announced on Wednesday 10th July – Falkirk. But listen to Jill Tuffnell on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire (see link) to hear why Cambridge made it onto the shortlist of 10 out of 80 contenders [11/07/19]

Cambridge Ramblers on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. Alan Parks and Jenny Urwin appeared on Chris South’s Radio Cambridgeshire program at 10am on 29th July, to talk about Rambling and our local Rambling Groups. To listen to an extract of the programme click the following link BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Interview [01/08/18]

Big Pathwatch Report. The Ramblers has released the results of the Big Pathwatch, the nation’s biggest ever footpath survey.

Citizen surveyors walked every path in almost half the total area of England and Wales recording more than 100,000 features including attractive views and interesting flora and fauna; and locked gates, barbed wire across paths and missing or misleading signs.

The results revealed that although more than half (56%) of paths are well-kept and signposted, more than a third (35%) are in need of improvement and nearly a tenth (9%) are difficult or impossible to use. [14/11/16]

Walking routes around Wicken Fen – new opportunities. There is a growing network of permissive paths in the ‘Wicken Fen Vision’ area – very useful when you are planning routes or just want a stroll. See the link for further details. [29/10/14]

Walking Partnership‘The Walking Partnership’ funds Cambridge Group. The Cambridge Group of the Ramblers’ Association has been accepted as a member organisation of The Walking Partnership, supported by Ramblers Walking Holidays (RWH). This means that if any member makes a booking with RWH they can nominate the Cambridge Group to receive a payment towards our costs. A UK holiday earns us £10 per person booked, a short haul (Europe) holiday earns £20 and a long-haul holiday earns us £30.

All you have to do is let Ramblers Walking Holidays know of your ‘nomination’ before you travel; you can even nominate the Cambridge Group retrospectively if you have already booked a holiday but have yet to travel.

Ramblers Walking Holidays gives its profits to charitable causes related to walking. We will use any funds received to publicise and promote our local walks’ programme as well as support our work on the protection and maintenance of public rights of way.


Cotswold Outdoor: discounts for Ramblers’ members. Cotswold Outdoor offers a discount for members of The Ramblers’ Association to 15% off the full price of items bought in their shops and from their online service; otherwise existing terms apply.


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