footpath width

rollestonpark

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Burton on trent
This winter the footpaths across my wheat fields are getting very wide, they look a bit like this:
https://www.fwi.co.uk/news/farmer-counts-cost-after-walkers-stray-from-footpath
040121-Damaged-public-right-of-way-c-Buckmoorend-Farm.jpeg

(picture taken from farmers weekly website, all rights reserved etc by them)
maybe mine are not that wide (yet), but way wider than a normal year.
Footpaths are such a nightmare in so many ways, especially when they go diagonally across arable ground, like ours do.
What are you suppose to do about it?
Cos it's wet, they walk on the edge of the path on the wheat, forever making it wider and wider.
 

B R C

Member
Arable Farmer
Unfortunately not much you can do about it, unless you want to fence it off which is not a viable proposition I suspect. There are again a lot of walkers on the footpaths at the moment due to lockdown. To be fair I think we have it extremely lucky living on farms and its a small price to pay really. It’s not nice for families couped up with no where to go. Yes they could walk through the middle of the muddy bit but let’s face it, it’s only natural to want to walk around it...
A lot of the most famous walks in the world have board walks in wet/boggy areas to avoid destruction of habitats that would happen with footpaths widening to hundreds of metres wide.
 

Andy26

Moderator
Arable Farmer
Location
Northants
This winter the footpaths across my wheat fields are getting very wide, they look a bit like this:
https://www.fwi.co.uk/news/farmer-counts-cost-after-walkers-stray-from-footpath
View attachment 932828
(picture taken from farmers weekly website, all rights reserved etc by them)
maybe mine are not that wide (yet), but way wider than a normal year.
Footpaths are such a nightmare in so many ways, especially when they go diagonally across arable ground, like ours do.
What are you suppose to do about it?
Cos it's wet, they walk on the edge of the path on the wheat, forever making it wider and wider.
Have a permeant in field grass strip for the footpath, if you have autosteer its easy to do. If the footpath is on the definitve maps, its there for perpetuity so if you can set it up to work then everyone is better off. Of course not easy if it runs at an cute angle or is not straight.
 

rollestonpark

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Burton on trent
Unfortunately not much you can do about it, unless you want to fence it off which is not a viable proposition I suspect. There are again a lot of walkers on the footpaths at the moment due to lockdown. To be fair I think we have it extremely lucky living on farms and its a small price to pay really. It’s not nice for families couped up with no where to go. Yes they could walk through the middle of the muddy bit but let’s face it, it’s only natural to want to walk around it...
A lot of the most famous walks in the world have board walks in wet/boggy areas to avoid destruction of habitats that would happen with footpaths widening to hundreds of metres wide.
Understood,
I just feel footpaths are forever a burden on land owners/farmers, meaning that piece of land is effectively sacrificed to it, we couldn't have a solar park where we wanted it because the footpath was there. Development is a problem 'because you have a footpath there'. etc etc
Now we have them getting forever wider (making the sacrifice even greater)
ours are all diagonal across the field from 1 corner to the other, meaning it doesn't work great with GPS etc.
 

thorpe

Member
This winter the footpaths across my wheat fields are getting very wide, they look a bit like this:
https://www.fwi.co.uk/news/farmer-counts-cost-after-walkers-stray-from-footpath
View attachment 932828
(picture taken from farmers weekly website, all rights reserved etc by them)
maybe mine are not that wide (yet), but way wider than a normal year.
Footpaths are such a nightmare in so many ways, especially when they go diagonally across arable ground, like ours do.
What are you suppose to do about it?
Cos it's wet, they walk on the edge of the path on the wheat, forever making it wider and wider.
we have just the same across arable fields . if we created the same with cattle we would get defra, rpa, e/a ,t/s all knocking on the door, reported by one those on that sh!tn footpath that they have created!
 

Andy26

Moderator
Arable Farmer
Location
Northants
Understood,
I just feel footpaths are forever a burden on land owners/farmers, meaning that piece of land is effectively sacrificed to it, we couldn't have a solar park where we wanted it because the footpath was there. Development is a problem 'because you have a footpath there'. etc etc
Now we have them getting forever wider (making the sacrifice even greater)
ours are all diagonal across the field from 1 corner to the other, meaning it doesn't work great with GPS etc.
You're right there a burden, but they are what they are, as much public highways as the roads and motorways you benefit from.

ELMs might enable farming one side of grass tripped footpath and an ELM conservation mix the other, yes triangles aren't great for farming but it is what it is. Would be nice if ELMS rewarded the presence of footpaths and bridleways by virtue of the public access to the environmental features they are delivering.
 

Flat 10

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Fen Edge
This winter the footpaths across my wheat fields are getting very wide, they look a bit like this:
https://www.fwi.co.uk/news/farmer-counts-cost-after-walkers-stray-from-footpath
View attachment 932828
(picture taken from farmers weekly website, all rights reserved etc by them)
maybe mine are not that wide (yet), but way wider than a normal year.
Footpaths are such a nightmare in so many ways, especially when they go diagonally across arable ground, like ours do.
What are you suppose to do about it?
Cos it's wet, they walk on the edge of the path on the wheat, forever making it wider and wider.
If they looked like this I would complain to the footpath officer, quick enough to blame farmers what about users? Tell them you are worried about erosion, cross compliance etc etc?
 
I imagine most of these footpaths crossing fields are a result of
hedges having been grubbed? Perhaps if the hedges had been left it wouldn't be a problem?
all cross field paths I have are the shortest route to school or church or village to village
18 th century system in a 21 century world needs modernising to modern needs
a to a rather than a to b and back
 

rollestonpark

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Burton on trent
If they looked like this I would complain to the footpath officer, quick enough to blame farmers what about users? Tell them you are worried about erosion, cross compliance etc etc?
I might do that, but what they going to do close it? They won't do that, unless a bomb is dropped on the footpath.
We do anything to the path, it a criminal offence, when walkers do stuff, we can't do anything about it. 1 rule for us, no rules for them...
 
I imagine most of these footpaths crossing fields are a result of
hedges having been grubbed? Perhaps if the hedges had been left it wouldn't be a problem?
Most footpaths were established by local people taking the shortest route to church,, school, the village etc so unsurprising they often cut diagonally across fields. They are rarely used now fir their intended purpose
 

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