The Peak & Northern Footpaths Society (PNFS) has been active for well over 100 years, promoting the interests of public footpath users in the North Midlands and North West of England. They monitor, protect and improve the footpath network for the benefit of us all.
Turnpike Field -- Grant award
Recently they became involved with the planned improvements to Footpath 26 -the section near Grey's Bridge where it passes through the boggy area at the bottom of Turnpike.
Not only did their inspector advise on suitable solutions, they subsequently awarded Audlem a significant grant of several thousands of pounds to help pay for the improvements -- more on this topic later!!
Volunteer Footpath Inspectors needed
PNFS have asked us if we can help with volunteer footpath inspectors in our area.
This involves the volunteer walking all the rights of way in their chosen parish and reporting back on what they find onto a footpath inspection database.
* is there a signpost that indicates where the path starts/finishes
* if there are stiles/gates are they in good condition
* is the path clear and unobstructed or is there overgrown vegetation that blocks the way?
Its not an onerous task -- they simply ask that the paths are walked once every two years. If a fault is found they ask that this is checked again after 3-6 months. This is to give time for the council to fix the problem.
Audlem is lucky to have Nicola Swinnerton as their local Cheshire East Rights of Way officer -- she is excellent at getting faults resolved.
PNFS provide online training for new inspectors and have a handbook that you can refer to:
PNFS: Volunteers Handbook (peakandnorthern.org.uk) http://www.peakandnorthern.org.uk/agents-inspectors/inspectors-handbook.htm – see section 4 Footpath inspections.
They also provide personal support by way of a volunteer coordinator and an Area Officer and also have a buddy system provided by an experienced footpath inspector for those that want it -- not everyone does but it's available if required.
For those that are interested, you will be asked to join PNFS so as to be covered by their insurance. Membership is £15 pa for an individual. Joining details are available at:
PNFS: Membership -- Join or Renew http://www.peakandnorthern.org.uk/membership/index.htm
SO, if you are interested in helping and/or have further questions, feel free to contact me via email@example.com
and/or the local PNFS Area Officer, Jenny Allen: