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Parish path warden

Explore Cosgrove’s Public Footpaths, Bridleways and Canal Tow Paths.

If you find a problem please report it to the Parish Path Warden, who will advise how to raise it with the Rights of Way officer for our area. He will attempt to visit the problem area within a few days and determine the severity of the issue. He also likes to know when you’ve enjoyed a walk through the parish and seen anything of interest.

Photographs of village sites can also be viewed on our CosgroveVillage Facebook site.

Cosgrove viewed from the Big Grounds Cosgrove viewed from the Big Grounds

Cosgrove Parish Footpaths & Rights of Way (Updated 03/05/2021)

April is being reported as one of the driest on record. The dry period will have encouraged walkers to explore our marvellous network of bridleways and footpaths. Regular walking of paths has helped keep the undergrowth down, leaving the paths well defined.

Most paths are identified by fingerposts at the access points and waymarkers along the route. Please let me know if  any paths are not clearly marked and I'll endeavour to improve the situation. Reports have been made where a stile has deteriorated and hazardous items create a risk to walkers and horse riders. The Rights of Way officer serving West Northamptonshire Council is always quick to respond and takes action to have these corrected, usually within 28 days.

While Covid restrictions are in place, it's ideal to exercise by walking in the countryside, where social distancing is far easier to maintain. Recently, I've met a few people that have recently settled in Cosgrove and it's been great to hear how much they enjoy living here. Like all of us, they look forward to exploring our network of bridleways and footpaths. In the parish of Cosgrove, many of our footpaths link, providing options for circular walks. These routes provide the opportunity to arrive at the Barley Mow or the Navigation for lunchtime or evening refreshment.   

If out dog walking, you are reminded of your responsibility to pick up after your dog. Bins are provided throughout the village, with specific red dog poo bins placed where dogs are walked regularly. Please remember that all our paths are walked by others and they want to enjoy their walk without having to watch out for dog mess, as nobody wants to tread in it. This applies in fields too, as all our footpaths cross privately owned land and many will be used for grazing cattle and sheep. Our farmers appreciate walkers that keep to the footpaths and dog walkers that keep their pets under control, especially near grazing animals. Please don't put their cattle at risk of disease from eating excrement, please do your best to pick up after your dog. If cattle are attracted to dog walkers, the NFU advise to release the dog and allow it to escape to safety. Cattle are less likely to crowd humans, when the dog is set free, but always be aware of their curiosity and behaviour. 

Walking our Rights of Way provides us with many different views of our countryside, as well as the chance to see wildlife not seen in built up areas. A number of footpaths lead to remote areas and also out of the parish, so always let someone know where you intend to walk and take your mobile phone with you. Using an app on your mobile phone may also add to the interest, as you can see how far you've walked and the option to share with others to show where you've been. These are available in your app store and don't need to cost. I use Map my Walk and Strava, which both provide accurate details in this area. On an occasion where I'd ventured into an adjacent parish where the path wasn't clear or marked, I managed to check my location by calling up the map from the Village walks page of the website. The GPS signal showed my location and as I zoomed in on the map, found that I was still on the footpath, despite the best efforts of the landowner to obscure access. Thankfully we don't have any issues of that nature in our parish.  

Don’t be put off getting out there though, as our footpaths are safe and problems are extremely rare.

Improvements in the parish over the past few years have provided improved access to the countryside for everyone. Installation of kissing gates and removal of stiles make it easier for people with reduced mobility to access footpaths. These improvements are made by Rights of Way at Northamptonshire County Council, so considering the difficult situation for the council, we have been well supported.

Walking is one of the best forms of exercise and helps improve our general health, so even if it’s just a stroll around the village, you can be assured that it will make you feel good and help you relax.

David A. Smith (Cosgrove Parish Path Warden)

E-mail: david.smith@cosgroveparishcouncil.org.uk