Doncaster Ramblers historic footpath mission
It’s no secret that Doncaster Ramblers are passionate about walking but the team are also on a mission to save our historic footpaths.
The group are so committed to ensuring our rights of way are protected that a team of twenty five inspect all 591 “Rights of Way” in the DMBC area each year, totalling over 300 miles. The “Rights of Way” are not just used by ramblers, they are enjoyed by riders, cyclists and the general public, and if not well maintained fall into disuse and become abandoned. Peter Rowsell, publicity officer for Doncaster Ramblers said: “We have until January 2026 to save our historic rights of way. “Well over 140,000 miles of public paths criss-cross England and Wales. This network has evolved over centuries with many paths dating back to medieval times - or earlier. ”These paths link villages, hamlets, roads and towns – they describe how generations before us travelled to the pub, field, church or shops and reflect the changing patterns of human interaction with the landscape. “To this day, millions of people across our towns, cities and countryside, use this fantastic network. However, miles and miles of our public paths are unrecorded and if they are not put on the Definitive Map by 1 January 2026, they will be lost forever. “Survey and inspection is not enough, what you need is a team of skilled craftsmen (or women) handy with a hammer, saw or spirit level to repair rickety stiles, wobbly fingerposts, and skew-whiff steps, and believe me our Rambler volunteers have done all this and more.” Once a month, usually a Wednesday, come rain or shine, they will be out with their tools cutting back brambles, shearing nettles, trimming hedges. Their work in 2018 covered 13 separate parishes, and in some cases carrying bags of cement a mile or more to remote outposts (no pun intended). Peter added: “It’s been another great year for our teams of volunteers so if you see them about with their yellow vest, and power drills, give them a wave and a smile, they’ll appreciate that! Above all just get out there walking and enjoy.” For more information about the Doncaster Ramblers visit www.doncasterramblers.org.uk or search Doncaster Ramblers on Facebook