DLYW Workshop, Sunday 20 February 2022. Queens’ College is holding a workshop on how to research old rights of way and apply to register them. Cambridge Ramblers are participating and people who are interested in helping us to reclaim historic footpaths that may have gone out of use, are welcome to attend. You can see more information and register here. Please let us know at DLYW@cambridgeramblers.org.uk if you register so as we can say hello on the day. On the previous day (Saturday) there is a conference on “Accessing land justice”. Both events are aimed at students and places may be limited. You can attend the Saturday conference via Zoom. [24/01/22]
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
Cambridge Group Ramblers AGM. This will take place on Wednesday 1 December from 6.30pm. It will be a virtual meeting using Zoom. If you would like to attend please email Paul at email@example.com for an invitation and how to connect.
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.
£1million study of rights of way. Oxford Brookes University have been awarded a £1million grant to study countryside rights of way. The project will be researching the mapping, development, use and experience of twentieth and twenty-first century rights of way across England and Wales. It will include consultations with “walking practitioners”. See here for more info.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 07747 613256. Steph Thomas”
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 and the Ramblers’ News page here.
Cambridge Group Ramblers AGM. This will take place on Wednesday 25 November from 6.30pm. It will be a virtual meeting using Zoom. If you would like to attend please email Lisa at email@example.com for an invitation and how to connect. (Note changed start time.)
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.
Don’t Lose Your Way. Many paths are not recorded on the definitive map of rights of way, and if they’re not found and added by the cut-off date of 2026 when the final map must be completed, they could be lost forever. To help meet the deadline, the Ramblers has launched a new tool. The Don’t Lose Your Way online mapping tool splits the country into 150,000 1km squares and makes it easy to compare current and historic maps side by side. Users simply select a square, do a quick ‘spot the difference’, mark on any missing paths and click submit. It takes just a few minutes to check a square.
You can find more information and join in here
Volunteer Roadshows. The Volunteer Roadshow days are absolutely free for members and volunteers to attend and provide an opportunity to learn new skills or brush up your knowledge in workshops such as Rights of Way, navigation, first aid, and walk leadership. We’ll also be running workshops for Treasurers (Northants) and an introduction to our new volunteer website (Norfolk). It’s also a great opportunity to meet with other groups and volunteers and to share ideas. Lunch and refreshments will be provided and volunteers are able to claim reasonable travel expenses. See the full programme on our event booking pages:
Northamptonshire – Saturday 19th October: View and book
Norfolk – Saturday 2nd November: View and book
Cambridge Castle Mound – need to preserve access to the Mound as a right.
View from Castle Mound.
Cambridge Ramblers are about to apply for the path leading to the top of Castle Mound to officially become a Public Right of Way. This follows worries that access to the Mound could be withdrawn when Cambs County Council vacate the Shire Hall site. The County Council has issued a “Landowners Deposit” on the site and has said “…we have always allowed public access, but we don’t believe it is a public right of way.”
However, Cambridge Ramblers believe that access to the Mound is a right of way and has been for at least the last 20 years.
Please support our application by filling in the Evidence Form and sending to firstname.lastname@example.org – send any queries to the same address.
In addition, some County and City Councillors have lodged an application for the Castle Mound and Shire Hall forecourt to be registered as a Town Green. You can support their application by contacting Cllr Jocelynne Scutt email@example.com or Cllr Claire Richards Claire.firstname.lastname@example.org
Update: Cambridge Ramblers have submitted the official footpath application, known as a DMMO, and this is currently being investigated by Suffolk County Council (who were delegated by Cambridgeshire County Council). [06/03/20]
Walk for Wicken Fen.The National Trust is organising a sponsored walk on Sunday 13 October to raise money towards their Eyes over the Fen project to provide an elevated hide and higher viewing platform for a great bird’s eye view across the historic Sedge Fen.
Or try a Sunday walk on Sunday 18 August and/or Sunday 15 September with one of our rangers.
See link for further details. [07/08/19]
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]
Vote for Cambridge City! Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood. The Ramblers’ Association is running a competition to identify Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood – and Cambridge City has been successful in making it to the last 10! The winner will be decided by popular vote on the Ramblers’ website. There you can see the 10 urban neighbourhoods which have made it through tough competition to the short list. A video film has been made to showcase just why each neighbourhood has been proposed and Ramblers’ members Jill and Jane appear in the Cambridge film. Many of us take Cambridge for granted – but what other cities or towns offer such wonderful green commons and open spaces so close to the centre? On a Spring day, what urban views are better than the scene when walking along the Backs? And the city centre does a good job on keeping traffic at bay. So please Vote for Cambridge!
Voting is open until 30 June: click Vote Cambridge! to vote. [30/05/19]
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]
Proposed Level Crossing Closures. Network Rail proposes to close 130 level crossings in East Anglia, 109 of which are part of Rights of Way.
Network Rail argues that closures are needed for safety reasons, but we know that diverting pedestrians onto busy roads means they must face the dangers of fast traffic. For example, locally Network Rail has proposed to close the pedestrian level crossing at Foxton and force pedestrians to cross the busy A10 in order to use the alternative crossing.
Ramblers’ Association are protesting these closures and asking Network Rail to develop a coherent level crossing policy. For more information click here. To support Ramblers’ Association’s petition click here. [10/01/17]
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.
To see the report click here. [14/11/16]
Do attend our AGM which will take place on Friday 25th November, from 18:00 at the Friends’ Meeting House, Hartington Grove (Cherry Hinton Road end).
We are delighted that Lord Chris Smith has agreed to talk to us. His talk will be interesting and well informed. He
- was Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury, 1983-2005;
- was Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, 1997-2001;
- was one of the authors of the Bill that brought in the “right to roam”;
- was President of the Ramblers’ Association, 2002-2007;
- was Chairman of the Environment Agency, 2008-2014;
- is Master of Pembroke College Cambridge, since October 2015;
- has climbed all the Scottish Munros, and all the 3000ft peaks in England and Wales.
To attend it will be necessary to pre-book – details are available in the Winter Walks Programme. Or contact the Secretary at email@example.com [13/09/16]
Letter from Ramblers’ CEO. Click for September 2015 letter from Ramblers’ CEO Benedict Southworth. It includes information about volunteer development days, latest volunteer news, and participating in the Big PathWatch as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award., [24/09/15]
Queen Edith’s Way and Cherry Hinton Road consultation. Cambridgeshire County Council is conducting a survey into possible improvements to footpaths and cycleways along Cherry Hinton Road (between Hills Road and Mowbray Road) and Queen Edith’s Way. [27/05/15]
Trumpington Meadows Country Park to open in spring. A major new country park is scheduled to be open to the public this spring. Funded through planning ‘gain’ arising from the new housing development in Trumpington, the country park runs south from the Park & Ride car park to Hauxton. It straddles the M11 and is bounded by the river Cam on its west side. Access from the north is from Byron’s Pool or Trumpington P&R. It includes new tree planting, wild flower meadows, improvements to the river Cam, picnic areas, footpaths and an off-road cycleway. The park has been developed by the Beds, Cambs & Northants Wildlife Trust who will continue to manage it – see link for details. There is a bridge over the M11, providing a new walking and cycling route from Cambridge through to Hauxton. This spine route opened to the public in 2014, although other paths will not be available until spring/summer this year. This is because construction vehicles are still building up a sound barrier of soil alongside the M11. See link for a map of the park (4.22Mb). [04/02/15]
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]
Proposed Foot and Cycle Bridge between Abbey and Chesterton. Consultation has now taken place. See here for more details.
Long Term Transport Strategy for Cambridgeshire. Consultation took place. See here for more details.
A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Scheme – Public Consultation. Proposals for the A14 improvement scheme were available for comment as part of a 10-week period of public statutory consultation commencing on 7 April 2014 and concluding on 15 June 2014. See here for further details. See also public consultation brochure.
Draft Local Plan 2014. This sets out Cambridge Council’s policies and proposals for future development up to 2031. Consultation has taken place between 19th July and 30th September 2013. Further information from the Council’s website at link. The “Save the Cambridge Greenbelt” Campaign has its website at link.
Advice on Ash Dieback for woodland walkers. Following concerns about the spread of ‘ash dieback’ in British trees the Ramblers is issuing advice to walkers heading for the woods this autumn. Please click here.
‘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.
Volunteers wanted in Sawston! The Ramblers has taken on the responsibility of helping to organise short “Health Walks” for people referred from their GP. We are looking for people who may be able to lead walks in and around Sawston for up to 10 people, lasting 1.5 to 2 hours and covering 3 to 4 miles, on Tuesday mornings. If you can help occasionally please contact Jill Tuffnell for more information (01223 362881 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Offers to help once a month would be very welcome.
Walking for health. Walking for Health is England’s national network of health walk schemes, offering free short walks over easy terrain led by trained walk leaders. See more on what Ramblers do by clicking on this link.