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Thank You For All Your Help - posted 10 June 2018

Many thanks from the Footpaths Committee to all those who turned out on Saturday to clear the footpath on the old railway line. With so many helpers we were able to clear the whole path. Please go out and enjoy it.

Footpath Clearing: Help Needed On 09 June - posted 14 May 2018

 

The popular path along the old railway towards Astwell gets overgrown in places and so volunteers are needed to help with the annual clear-up.

The Helmdon Footpaths Group will be working there on Saturday 9th June, from 9 am onwards, cutting back the nettles and brambles. Extra hands would be most welcome for any time you can spare; bring your own tools please.

 

For more information please contact Roger Miles (01295 –768964).

Hedge Cutting Help Needed 12 November - posted 08 November 2016 

Helpers welcome! On Saturday 12th November from 9.30 onwards, volunteers will be cutting back the hedge alongside the footpath through the Wilson allotments off Wappenham Road. Any extra hands, with your own tools, will be much appreciated.

For more details ring Roger Miles on 01295 768964. 

Footpath Clearing: Help Needed On 11 June - posted 02 June 2016 

 

The popular path along the old railway towards Astwell is getting overgrown in places and so the annual clear-up is needed The Helmdon Footpaths Group will be working there on Saturday 11th June, from 9.30onwards, cutting back the nettles and brambles. Extra hands would be most welcome for any time you can spare; bring your own tools please.

 

For more information please contact  Roger Miles (01295 768964)

Helmdon Walks Leaflet No: 5 Now Available - posted 29 February 2016

The latest in the series of Helmdon Walks, No. 5, is published and is now available. Indeed, thanks to monies from the Parish Council, Helmdon Hurler and HYHO we have good stocks of all five circular walks and of the footpaths map.  All available free to residents! Just contact Roger Miles on 01295 768964   e-mail

Call For Volunteers For The Annual Footpath Clearing Effort! - posted 25 June 2015


The permissive footpath along the old railway track towards Astwell is well used but does get overgrown at this time of year. So the Helmdon Footpaths Group will be working there on Saturday 4th July to cut back the nettles and brambles. We'll be starting at 9.30am and anyone who can spare some time to help will be most welcome. Bring your own tools and gloves but leave the dog at home so that you can concentrate on making his next walk more enjoyable!
 
Any questions? Call Roger on 768964. 

Walkers' Rights And Responsibilities -posted 07 January 2015

 

We are lucky in Helmdon to have an extensive network of public footpaths, which give free access to the wonderful countryside around the village. However, we have to recognise that most of these paths cross working farmland.

 

Recently some of our local farmers have been troubled by walkers straying off the footpaths, which are the Public Rights of Way, and sometimes leaving gates open so that stock got out of their fields.  In one case some young cattle were put at risk of eating inappropriate fodder.

 

A detailed map of the public footpaths in and around Helmdon is available; it shows where people can walk freely to enjoy the countryside. On the other hand it does set out the Countryside Code for how walkers should respect the life and work of the countryside when crossing private farmland. In particular walkers should:  “Fasten all gates behind you” and “Keep your dogs under close control”.   

 

Please contact me or another member of the Parish Footpaths Group who created the map, if you want one; also do let us know if you have difficulty accessing a footpath. Anyone who finds stiles difficult, perhaps because of the size or age of their dog, can ask us for advice on routes. In recent years the County Council have replaced some stiles with kissing gates and more are in the pipeline as part of ongoing work to improve public access to the paths.

 

Roger Miles, Parish Paths Warden

(01295 768964)

e-mail

Hedge Cutters Wanted - posted 19 September 2014

On Saturday 11th October a Working Party of the Footpaths Group will be cutting back the hedge alongside the path through Tony Wilson's allotments, behind Jenner's Piece, Wappenham Road. Any helpers will be most welcome to join us from 9.30 until midday; please bring you own hand tools!
 
Roger Miles (768964)

Help With Cutting Down Summer Vegetation - posted 28 June 2014

The Permissive footpath along the old railway towards Astwell is well used but the summer's vegetation now needs cutting back.


A working party of the Helmdon Paths Group will be there on Saturday 12th July and anyone who can bring along handtools and help would be most welcome. We'll start at 9.30 from the bridge near the end of Jeffs coach yard and see how far we get!
 
Meanwhile if dog walkers could carry secateurs and snip off the odd briar that would be much appreciated too!
 
Roger Miles
Parish Paths Warden (768964) 

e-mail

Report given to the 2014 Annual General Meeting of Helmdon Parish Council - posted 02 June 2014

 

My role is to monitor and where possible to improve the accessibility of the 44 paths that provide some 31 kilometres of public footpaths and bridleways within the Parish. I liaise with the Rights of Way officers at Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) on behalf of the Parish and respond to queries from residents.  

 

The RoW team at NCC was reduced and relocated during 2013 but they have continued to be helpful, for example in advising landowners of their responsibilities when issues have arisen, particularly about temporary electric fencing for sheep pastures. An enforcement order was made for one path.

 

NCC installed some new gates and bridges, including a set on path AP18 as a result of a complaint from a walking group who had visited this area. Since AP18 is rarely walked by local people, I used this example to urge that our outstanding requests for other works on popular paths should be given priority. 

 

As anticipated in last year’s report, the discretionary public access to some fields near Allithorne Wood under the Countryside Stewardship scheme has expired.  The current landowners were not willing to consider making a new agreement to continue this benefit to the community.

 

However, the new owners of the land that includes the old railway viaduct have sought my advice on how informal public access to the track across the viaduct might be continued under a permissive path agreement. They have also drained a problem area on path AP14, and NCC will be installing a kissing gate nearby.  

 

During the year a gate funded by the HYHOs was installed on AP28 and volunteers continued to help with various path maintenance and improvement tasks; some steps were made on AP23, several stiles repaired and hardcore was added to a wet path (AP29).

 

Paths Group

My monitoring work is very greatly assisted by the active Paths Group, chaired by Cllr Mike Barnes, which developed from the Parish Plan. The Paths Group’s practical work has continued to include maintaining our three permissive paths which are well used.

 

 The village footpaths map was reprinted last year and is freely available together with the four leaflets describing attractive circular walks around Helmdon.  They are particularly appreciated by new residents.  Two more circular walk leaflets are being prepared. 

 

Health Walks

 

The Ramblers Association and Macmillan Cancer Support sponsor the national Walking for Health scheme, which is facilitated locally by South Northants Council, and which has been active in Helmdon since March 2009. Thursday afternoon walks have continued throughout the year, with only a few cancelled for bad weather. It is pleasing to report that more Helmdon residents have joined the 15 - 20 regular walkers this year.

 

 Several landowners kindly assist the planning of varied routes for these walks by very generously allowing diversions from the official paths for these led groups to complete circular routes.  

 

The longer summer evening walks will start on Monday 9th June and continue until 11th August. It is hoped that one or two volunteers will come forward to train as walk leaders so that more walks can be organized.  

 

Spring ridge wind farm

 

The increased popularity of our Health Walks and the continued good usage of our paths were the basis of my evidence at the new inquiry in October 2013. I accompanied the Inspector on his formal site visit, which included walking several of the paths where there would be a significant loss of public amenity.

 

For further details contact:

Roger Miles (01295)768964

e-mail

Possiblity Of Snakes On Certain Footpaths - posted 05 September 2013

There has been a report of snakes, possibly adders, in Wicket Mead, which is the overgrown field South of the bridge at the end of the old station coach yard.  There are three well-used footpaths crossing this field,   so beware!

Footpath Clearance On Saturday 03 August - posted 20 July 2013

Volunteers are called for to help with clearing the old railway permissive path on Saturday 3 August.

We will meet at 10.00am at the bridge behind Jeffs coach yard, where the path starts, and see how far we can get.  Many dog walkers use this path and so I hope some will join in.

Roger Miles

Warden, Parish Paths Group

01295 768964

e-mail

New Stock of Footpath Maps - posted 06 April 2013

Following some reprints we now have a good stock of the large map showing footpath walks and bridleways round Helmdon and each of the four leaflets describing circular walks that all start from the Bell.   Anyone who would like copies should contact me.

Roger Miles

Warden, Parish Paths Group

01295 768964

e-mail

New Up To Date Parish Walks Map Available - posted 27 October 2012

A new up to date Helmdon Footpaths map has been produced by Helmdon Parish Paths Group showing footpaths, permissive paths and bridleways, for Helmdon and the surrounding area and if anyone would like a copy to contact me on 01295 760172 (e-mail) they are free to all residents.
Lesley Kinghorn

Footpath Clearance - A Thankyou - posted 24 August 2012

I would like to thank all the people who gave up their time to help with the path clearing

Without the regular maintenance the paths would become overgrown and impassable.  This would be detrimental to the enjoyment of those of us who walk these paths regularly or not so regularly.  Your efforts were much appreciated.

Roger Miles

Warden, Parish Paths Group

01295 768964

e-mail

Footpath Clearance This Saturday 11 August - posted 07 August 2012

This Saturday the plan is to tackle the permissive path along the old LMS railway towards Astwell, starting at the restored bridge at about 10.00am

Your help would be much appreciated.

Roger Miles Warden, Parish Paths Group

01295 768964

e-mail

New Circular Walk Leaflet - posted 24 July 2011

 

Helmdon Parish Paths Circular Walk 4 has been produced by the Footpaths Group and will be put through your letter box during the next week.

 

We hope you have enjoyed the walks suggested in leaflets 1,2 and 3. If you do not have a copy of these and would like one, please contact Roger Miles on 01295 768964.

e-mail

 

Volunteers Wanted For Footpath Clearance - posted 15 June 2012

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Report For The AGM Of Helmdon Parish Council - posted 24 May 2012

Part of my role is to liaise with the Rights of Way officers at Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) on behalf of the Parish. I am pleased to report that during the past year they have contributed a good deal to improving our paths, despite some staffing issues.

In particular the new stiles and bridge on AP14  (towards Stuchbury) and the recent new gate on AP29 (from Field Way) are very much appreciated. Some issues with landowners were addressed and an agreed list of priorities for further works is in hand.

My work to keep under review the 44 paths, which provide some 31 kilometres of rights of way in the Parish, is very greatly assisted by the active Paths Group, chaired by Mike Barnes; it developed from the Parish Plan. The Paths Group’s practical work has included cutting back hedges, repairing stiles and improving the permissive path along the old railway route towards Astwell.

The highlight of my report last year was the extension of this path with the agreement of the landowners. Several people helped with the bridge-building and brush cutting work that was needed to open this path. It is pleasing to see how use of this new path has increased.

The route and status of the permissive path around the outside on the churchyard has been formally agreed with the landowner. This is now the third permissive path in the Parish.

Copies of the village footpaths map that the Paths Group produced in 2006 are still available and a reprint is being prepared. The fourth in our series of leaflets on circular walks around Helmdon is ready for printing; it describes walks to Wappenham and back in a figure of eight.

The Health Walks scheme now sponsored nationally by The Ramblers Association and Macmillan Cancer Support, and facilitated locally by South Northants Council,  has been active in Helmdon for three years. Thursday afternoon walks continue throughout the year, with only a few cancellations for bad weather; they start from the Reading room at 1.45pm and return for tea soon after 3pm. On Monday 14 May we started the fourth year of summer evening walks, departing from “The Bell” at 7pm and returning by dusk; these will continue weekly until the 20 August.

Several landowners have generously assisted with the planning of varied routes for these walks, for example by allowing some diversions from the official paths for these led groups.

The two trained Health Walk Leaders in the village are Lesley Kinghorn and myself. We are grateful for the regular help of other leaders from Pattishall and Brackley.

The frequency and popularity of our Health walks has enabled me to present solid evidence to the current windfarm inquiry. There were some 50 walks in 2011 with an average of 15 people on each walk. Recently we have walked through the site several times.

Our path AP16 through Grange Farm becomes AN10 at the boundary with Greatworth Parish and then runs very close to the proposed positions of the wind turbines. Their impact on AN10 is a focal point in the argument and a concern for Helmdon’s users of this attractive path.

To end on a mundane but serious point, I must note that there are still too many incidents of dogs fouling footpaths.  I hope that the recent publicity in Helmdon Voice will be heeded.  

 

Roger Miles

(01295 768964)

Our Parish Paths Warden Receives Exceptional Service Award - posted 10 October 2011

Roger Miles, who organises and leads the Helmdon Walks has received an Exceptional Service Award from SNC.  The award also recognises Roger’s role as Parish Paths Warden in ensuring paths are mantained and extended where possible together with the publication of four leaflets, available free, with details of permissive footpaths in the parish.  The well attended walks have enjoyed fine countryside and varied routes, some of which were only possible by the generosity of local farmers in allowing diversions from public footpaths which is much appreciated.  Well done Roger!

 

Extract from the Village Newsletter no. 1,  Autumn 2011

New Footpath: Help Needed On 16 July - posted 11 July 2011

 

the new bridge
The new bridge 

                (photo: Richard Foster)

 

Thanks to an agreement between the Parish Council and the landowners, public access to the old railway track towards Astwell was extended in January 2011 by the opening of a new permissive footpath.

Volunteers helped with the bridge building and brush cutting work that was needed to create this path, and it is good to see how well this new amenity is being used. If you’ve not seen the bridge, here is a photo!

 

Parts of the path to the new bridge are getting overgrown and so the Helmdon Footpaths Group will be working there on Saturday 16th July, 10.00am onwards, cutting back the nettles and brambles. Extra hands would be most welcome.

 

Roger Miles

(01295 –768964)

 

Report of the Helmdon Parish Paths Warden for the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council - posted 26 May 2011

Part of my role is to liaise with the Rights of Way officers at Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) on behalf of the Parish. I am pleased to report that throughout the past year they have responded well on a variety of matters. Several new bridges over ditches have been installed, stiles improved and new signs have been provided; some problems with landowners were addressed and an agreed list of priorities for further works is in hand. Also NCC have distributed a new definitive map of our paths, dated 1 October 2010.

My work to keep under review the 44 paths, which provide some 31 kilometres of rights of way in the Parish, is very greatly assisted by the active Paths Group, chaired by Mike Barnes that developed from the Parish Plan. The Paths Group’s practical work has included cutting back hedges, repairing stiles and digging a drainage ditch.  With the agreement of the landowner, Mervyn Humphrey, work to improve the permissive path along the old railway route towards Astwell has continued. This path is not a right of way but is an amenity that many use.

The highlight of the year has been the extension of this path with the agreement of the landowners, John and Geoff Watson. Several people helped with the bridge-building and brush cutting work that was needed to open this path. It is pleasing to see how well the new part of this path is being used and appreciated.

Copies of the village footpaths map that the Paths Group produced in 2006 have were distributed widely but some are still available. During this year we published the third of our series of leaflets on circular walks around Helmdon. A fourth on walking to Wappenham and back in a figure of eight is nearing completion.

The Health Walks scheme sponsored by South Northants Council is active in Helmdon. Thursday afternoon walks continued throughout the year, with only a few cancellations for bad weather; they start from the Reading room at 1.45pm and return for tea soon after 3pm. On Monday 16 May we will start a third year of summer evening walks, departing from “The Bell” at 7pm and returning by dusk; these will continue weekly until the last one on 22 August.

Several landowners have generously assisted with the planning of varied routes for these walks, for example by allowing some diversions from the official paths for these led groups.

Unfortunately there have been too many incidents of dogs fouling footpaths and running unchecked in fields with stock; also of gates being left open and fences broken down allowing stock to stray.

I am always pleased to hear from anyone with a paths question or problem and apologise that I cannot be present at this meeting.

Roger Miles

(01295 768964)

Parish Paths Group Report From Autumn 2010 Talkabout - posted 29 December 2010

 

We meet regularly, under the chairmanship of Mike Barnes, to identify and solve problems with the 20 miles of footpaths in the parish; the members are Vic Butler, Richard Foster, Roger Miles, John Thorne and Viv Watson.

During the summer working parties have cut back bushes, nettles and brambles, and repaired stiles. A special effort was made to keep clear the permissive path along the former railway track towards Astwell. We are most grateful to the volunteers who have helped with this work, particularly Jeff Abbey, Neil Buckley, Pat McAuliffe, Danny Moody and Julian Partis.

Many people walk their favourite paths regularly and others enjoy this access to our countryside from time to time, respecting that dogs need to be controlled, rubbish taken home and gates closed. Our local landowners play their part in marking paths through growing crops, cutting hedges and insulating electric fences. But Helmdon still has too many instances of gates being left insecure and dogs fouling paths.

As Parish Paths Warden, appointed by the Parish Council, part of my role is to liaise with the Rights of Way officers at Northamptonshire County Council (NCC). During 2010 NCC have had less money to spend on works such as installing bridges and signposts, but an initiative to ensure landowners sprayed out paths through growing crops was very effective.

In 2006 the Paths Group produced a general map of Helmdon’s paths and bridleways; a few copies are still available and a reprint is planned. We have also produced leaflets describing routes for circular walks around Helmdon:

 

No 1, a long walk via Sulgrave and Weston.

No 2, a shorter walk to Stuchbury and back a different way.

No 3, a southern circle via Radstone; this was issued in August.  

 

We are grateful to HYHO, the Parish Council and Councillor Andrew Grant for help with the printing costs of these leaflets, which were freely distributed; copies are still available. Also work is being done on routes to the East and South.

Any suggestions or offers to help with the Group’s activities will be most welcome.

Do contact me if you have a footpaths problem or question, or would like one of the leaflets or maps.

Roger Miles ◊ Warden: Parish Paths Group Tel: 01295 768964    e-mail

Parish Paths Group Report From Spring 2010 Talkabout - posted 31 May 2010

During the winter the Paths Group have met regularly, under the chairmanship of Mike Barnes, to identify and resolve problems with the 31 kilometres of footpaths in the parish. Several working parties have valiantly cut back bushes, nettles and brambles, and repaired stiles.  We are most grateful to the volunteers who have helped with this work, particularly Neil Buckley, Pat McAuliffe, Danny Moody and Julian Partis.  Our local landowners constantly play their part in marking paths through growing crops, cutting hedges and insulating electric fences.

 

Many people walk their favourite paths regularly and others enjoy this access to our countryside from time to time, respecting the code that dogs need to be controlled, rubbish taken home and gates closed.  Sadly this winter Helmdon has had too many instances of gates being left insecure and dogs fouling paths.

 

As Parish Paths Warden, appointed by the Parish Council, part of my role is to liaise with the Rights of way officers at Northamptonshire County Council (NCC).  My autumn 2009 report to the Parish Council detailed the improvements NCC have made in recent years by replacing stiles with gates, installing bridges and signposts, and adding safe, firm surfaces to several gateways. Some of these are a good distance from the centre of the village but they are there!

 

In 2006 the Paths Group produced a general map of Helmdon’s paths and bridleways, a few copies are still available and a reprint is planned.  Enclosed with the last edition of Talkabout was a Circular Walk leaflet (no 1 Sulgrave and Weston) that we produced, with financial support from the Helmdon Young Husbands Organisation.  We were pleased by the very positive response and so have produced two more; leaflet no 2, via Stuchbury, was distributed in February and no 3 via Radstone, should be ready for inclusion with this Talkabout.

 

Any suggestions or offers to help with the group’s activities will be most welcome.  Currently the Paths Group members are: Mike Barnes, Vic Butler, Richard Foster, Roger Miles, John Thorne and Viv Watson.

 

Do continue to contact me if you have a footpaths problem or question, or would like one of the leaflets of maps.

 

Roger Miles Warden, Parish Paths Group

01295 768964

e-mail

Summer  Health Walks - posted 5 May 2010

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Helmdon Parish Paths Circular Walk No.2 - 7 February 2010

In co-operation with Michael Barnes (graphics), Parish Paths warden Roger Miles has produced No 2 in the Helmdon Parish Paths circular walks series. It is a walk to and from Stuchbury of approximately 3 miles and (if the ground is not wet or frozen) will take around 75 minutes. Look out for its delivery through your door in the near future and for circular walk no 3, which is to published in the spring.

Winter Walks Begin 7 January - 4th January 2010

Weekly Walks will be resuming after the Christmas Break, starting on Thursday 7th January at 1.45 from the Reading Room. Stout footwear and warm clothing essential for a one Hour Walk, returning for tea in the Reading Room!

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Winter Walks - 27th September 2009

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Summer Walks - 20th May 2009

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Report From Autumn Talkabout - 4th November 2008

Under the chairmanship of Mike Barnes this group has continued to monitor the rights of way in the parish, to carry out minor works such as cutting back hedges and repairing stiles, and to work on projects to improve access to the countryside. The group was set up to address needs expressed in the Parish Plan survey, one of which was for an off-road cycle route to Brackley. A feasible proposal was developed but it did not gain the support of all the relevant landowners and so the Paths Group will be putting this matter back to the village in the next survey.

 

As Parish Paths Warden, appointed by the Parish Council, part of my role is to liaise with the Rights of Way officers at Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) on behalf of the Parish. Early in 2008 this work was hampered by the radical reorganisation that NCC chose to impose on their Rights of Way staff. However, things have improved gradually so that during the summer some of our longstanding needs could be dealt with. In particular the bridge that was installed after the July 2007 floods has been improved, though it is still seen to be a poor replacement for what was there before. Two broken gates on the Bridleway to Weedon Lois were replaced, but more work is needed to add a safe, firm surface to the gateways. In August the path from Cross Lane towards Astwell was improved greatly by NCC replacing two stiles with kissing gates.

 

The Helmdon landowners also play their part in keeping paths accessible and have generally responded positively and quickly when problems have been raised. In return, walkers and riders should remember their responsibilities to respect the countryside.

 

The village footpaths map that the Paths Group produced in 2006 was distributed widely and is still available, thanks to financial support received from the Helmdon Young Husbands Organisation. This has also enabled the Group to develop the first of a set of notes on circular walks around Helmdon.  Copies of walk no 1 (and the village footpaths map) are obtainable from me.

 

Anyone with suggestions or offers of help will be most welcome. Currently the Paths Group members are:  Mike Barnes, Vic Butler, Richard Foster, Roger Miles, John Thorne and Viv Watson.

 

Also do contact me if you have a particular paths problem or question.    

 

 

Roger Miles

Helmdon Parish Paths Warden (01295 – 768964)

Winter Walks - 7th October 2008

                                           click for poster

 

 
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