Baby Steps at Upper Mill Shaw – Holmfirth Footpath 146

New gate on Holmfirth Footpath 146 and the poorly reinstated ground where the big hole was.

Back in October when the leaves were falling from the trees and it was still light at four in the afternoon I blogged about this path being obstructed by some stock fencing. A fairly simple thing to sort out you’d have thought? You’d be wrong! The owner here has contrived to make this way more complicated than it needs to be.

Following my initial visit I was reassured by the powers that be at Kirklees not to worry as a gate was going in very soon to overcome the obstruction. The following week and after a full moon (I can’t help but think the two things are connected) the owner went on a mini digger rampage ripping up the path and leaving open unguarded excavations where the public have access. The digger rampage obstructed the obstruction and I imagine as the full moon faded and the “Digger Wolf” returned to a normal law abiding citizen he must have wondered just what had happened to his field and the path. A bit like I did!

Hoping  things had settled down somewhat and perhaps that the medication is working better I visited the site this morning. A gate has now been installed but as ever in these situations it’s little baby steps and it hasn’t been sorted properly. It seems landowners can have rights of way responsibilities explained to them but of course you cannot understand it for them.

Firstly the gleaming new gate has a chain and lock on it. To keep the werewolves out? The gate wasn’t locked but lets face it what is a chain and padlock doing on a new gate which has been put in to reopen an illegally obstructed right of way? It’s not good is it?

Chain & padlock on the new footpath gate. Every right of way should have one!

Secondly the ground reinstatement where the path was ripped up is crap. Anyone who digs up a public footpath at 1300 feet above sea level in November isn’t really thinking straight and whilst I appreciate it was a full moon and the operator was clearly under the influence of some malign bodily metamorphosis, that’s no excuse!  What we are left with is an area of soft,rough ground which is vulnerable to further damage from the winter weather.

I don’t really have any answers here but I would suggest that our cash strapped council is perhaps better advised to slap notices on owners who behave in this antisocial and illegal manner. This would enable the council to carry out the works themselves and fully recharge the cost thus saving us hapless taxpayers some money.

Instead the powers that be at Kirklees will have to explain to the owner here in baby words just what is required all over again. This strikes me as overindulgent given the financial crisis the council faces.If everyone one in Kirklees who trashes a public right of way is treated with similar largesse (which they are) that’s a lot of public money. Perhaps best not to dwell on that to long.

HF146 (1 of 1)
Feeling nostalgic for how the path used to be. Not sure it’s actually got any better 🙂



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