Friday, 3 July 2009

Where has Rosedale Abbey Footpath 29 gone?

I was out at Rosedale Abbey {SE 724 959} on 23-06-2009 doing a pre-walk check for my then upcoming C-walk. I had great difficulty finding the path that I wanted to take out of Rosedale Abbey; so, I had to use an alternative route - see the annotated map below.

Missing Footpath near Rosedale Abbey
Crown Copyright (2009). All rights reserved. Licence No. 100046831.
Produced using Memory-Map.

I had intended using Path 2 from Rosedale Abbey across to the minor road near Sevenford House {SE 7201 9569}. As can be seen from the map, the path should run parallel to, and just to the east of, a stream (and a boundary fence) that runs down hill to join the River Seven at {SE 7222 9586}. The path then merges with another footpath at {SE 7228 9590} - Path 1 in the above map.

Because I could not find the path I wanted to take, I decided to use Path 1 instead - for my outward trip. As it happened, I think this was a much more interesting route. After completing my pre-walk check, I returned to the village using Path 3. A full description of the day's walk can be found by following this link.

Searching for Path 29
On Tuesday 30th June it was a really lovely summer's evening. I therefore decided to drive over to Rosedale Abbey and have a look for Path 2. Officially, according to the North York Moors National Parks Authority, this is 'Rosedale Footpath 29'.

Following Path 1, I re-traced my earlier steps back to the minor road where Path 2 was deemed to start. There was no evidence to suggest an 'oficial' footpath entry into the field that should have hosted the footpath. On the contrary, where the FP should have started, there was a series of boards nailed in a horizontal position - as if to block something up (see the picture below).

Boards in fence
I walked down the road a little further. About 25 metres after the entrance to Low Farm {SE 7206 9566}, I found a gate that enabled me to gain access to the field that I wanted to be in.

Gate into field
Once in the field I made my way to the location from where the path should have left the road. Using my GPS I followed the route of the path as it is defined in the Explorer OL 26 1:25000 map. Click here to see the GPS tracklog of where I roamed.

I followed the route of the path downhill to the point at which it should cross the River Seven. Here, I was confronted with a barbed-wire fence. As can be seen in the following picture, this would provide quite an obstacle to anyone who is not agile enough to cock his/her leg over the fence.

Barbed-wire fence
As I walked along the road towards Red House Golf Course, I got into conversation with a resident from Primrose Villas {SE 721 956}. We had an interesting chat about 'Footpath 29'. He told me that there used to be a 'green' public-footpath sign showing the entry to this path near Sevenford House/Hotel. So, where has it gone?

I returned to Rosedale Abbey a day or so later - armed with my wellington boots and walking poles. Wearing my 'wellies', I walked the length of the River Seven from the footbridge at {SE 721 959} down towards the road-bridge at {SE 724 958}. Sadly, I could not find any evidence for the existence of 'Footpath 29'.

As a result of my field research, I could find no evidence whatsoever (other than on my maps) for the existence of Path 2 - alias 'Footpath 29'. There were no markers (in the form of yellow arrows), stiles or stepping stones across the beck. However, the crossing point probably corresponds to the place where the ford used to be - which would explain the absence of stepping stones.

Action is needed to reinstate this path. So, what is needed? In my view each of the following issues need to be addressed:
  1. a signpost with a yellow-arrow plate on it is needed on the village-side of the river;
  2. a few stepping stones could be strategicaly positioned to facilitate river crossings;
  3. a stile is needed to get over the fence on the western side of the river;
  4. a stile is needed in the fence near Sevenford House/Hotel (to replace the 'boards' that currently exist there); and
  5. a Public Footpath sign is needed on the road near Sevenford House.
Obviously, Item 4 in the above list could be obviated if the footpath is re-routed in order to use the gate (shown above) as the access point to the field containing the footpath.

The improvements identified above would add to the intrinsic attractiveness of the area both for visitors to the locality and for those who are involved in outdoor activities.



At 6 July 2009 at 08:41 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil re footpath 29 the Ramblers Assoc Ryedale group should be able to inform you what has happened,or at least start an investigation.
Bye John Street

At 8 July 2009 at 04:00 , Blogger philbee said...

Hello John.
Thanks for that.

Do you have a contact person or any other contact details so that I can follow this up?

I have sent a copy of the link address for this posting to my local RA contact and also to the NYM Parks Authority.



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