Thursday, 17 May 2012

“This is Miss Folckes’ path. It’s the route she followed three centuries ago to reach the neighbouring squire’s house. Look, it’s marked on this map from 1777 with her name”. This, according to a passionate gentleman we filmed today, was all the evidence required to permit a 21st century right of way which would have given walkers a pretty decent view of his personal hygiene routine, passing as it did within twenty feet of his bathroom window.

We are in a world of stout footwear and waterproof maps as we stride into the realm of the rambler. There are 118,000 miles of public footpaths in England (that would take you nearly 5 times round the equator) yet by 2026 there could be more as historic, so called, ‘lost ways’ and used but undesignated routes could be classified for access. Some may be thrilled, others alarmed.

Of more immediate concern to many rural strollers is what to do when you are confronted by the ploughed up path. Trudge on through with ever growing plates of mud weighing down each step or detour round the narrow margin amongst the nettles and brambles? We’ll reveal the right answer and who to complain to when you get home.

Horse Fostering latest: We had a great response to May 13th’s film about abandoned and neglected horses. The RSPCA were especially pleased as they were launching the appeal to find foster homes for ponies in that tricky ‘adolescent’ period when they are too young to be ridden, yet still cost a fortune to keep and plenty of potential good homes got in touch. They have been contacted by more than 25 potential fosterers and wanted to pass on their thanks to the programme and our viewers. I was pleased to get away with the most eye-watering shot of a bucket lid your likely to see on telly this year – it’s on i-player until Sunday 20th May if you missed it! And if you have a genuine interest in fostering a horse, you can find out more from the RSPCA

CountryFile Sunday evening 10 June BBC 1

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