Village resident Rob Bowyer acts as our Footpaths Officer; below you can read his annual report.

Notts County Council Rights of Way officers are beginning to get back to normal on their work, having asked everyone to bear in mind, that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the staff have been unable to carry out as many site visits as they would wish and some issues may remain outstanding for longer than would normally be the case.

I would like to mention one disappointment; village residents who like to walk our footpaths will be well aware that Bryans Lane (BW14) and the field path (FP15) that heads NE from the top corner of Main Street run parallel with each other as far as the A46 Fosse Way, where they effectively terminate. (It is possible, but arguably no longer advisable given the volume and speed of traffic on the road, to cross the A46 from the end of FP15 and find another footpath leading off the verge on the far side which would open up the possibility of off-road walking to Hickling Standard or Longcliffe Hill above Old Dalby.) This effectively means that both BW14 and FP15 are dead ends: you are forced to go back the way you came unless you tangle with the traffic (hopefully not literally) on the A46.

There is a point, however, below Lodge Farm, where it has been feasible up to now to walk the width of a single field, used only for grazing sheep, to cross from one path to the other, and return by the opposite route to make a circular walk. I always thought the owner of Lodge Farm turned a blind eye to people doing this, and in 35 years have never been disabused of the fact until recently after he caught up with me on his quad bike.

He is fed up with every Tom Dick and Harry doing the same thing during lockdown (I find it hard to believe this amounts to even four or five people in any given week) and reckons everybody would be happy if we all stuck to the rights of way. I appreciate that farmers and walkers will not always see eye to eye. He is of course correct: there is no right of way across the field concerned, but I am sad to have to concede this during the pandemic, when even a decent out-and-back walk can become boring by repetition and a circular walk can be so much more appealing.

Anyone else in the habit of linking up BW14 and FP15 should be aware of what seems to be a change of heart on the part of the farmer.