UKH

/ The representation of a path on the map...

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pasbury on 30 Apr 2018

... is no evidence of the existence of a right of way (to paraphrase the OS).

Last weekend I learned that the opposite is also true. Following a slightly harebrained plan to go directly from Moel Llyfnant to Dduallt and off that to the south east to finish at Pont Fronwydd. There were two rights of way that I foolishly thought I could intercept and follow; one shown from Pennant-Lliw to Cwm yr Allt-Llwyd and another south of Dduallt that goes around Foel Ddu. Apart from the odd scrape that could have been sheep tracks I found nothing. Instead I traversed an epic wilderness of tussock and bog.

The tussocks ran the gamut of tussocky possibility from soft squishy moss, through lank grassy ones, trouser shredding heather lumps before reaching the uber-tussock status of the shaggy topped grassy variety that were anything up to 6 feet high - I gave these latter a wide berth.

Then there were the bogs, bogs, bogs, a sheer variety and extent of boggyness that I didn't think physically possible, bogs under heather, bogs that looked like firm turf, bogs masquerading as paths, bogs on steep slopes, quivering green bogs that make you run away and scream for your mum.

Dduallt had no path that I could detect anywhere - actually this was a great pleasure until I tried to get off the bloody thing. I don't know how one would even begin to describe the way off this hill in the direction I took, lumpy terrain leads to a choice of spurs and valleys. The path definitely doesn't exist as shown and here I spent an hour fighting with a particularly carnivorous variety of heather tussock before deciding to wade down the stream as the lesser of two evils. Even the sheep have given up making tracks round here.

For my next trick I might see if the right of way across Waun y Griafolen is navigable without snorkel.

Wonderful part of Wales though!

 

Post edited at 11:34
summo on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to pasbury:

A path and PR of way are different things.

You can have a visible path marked on a map that isn't a right of way. But also a right way marked on a map without even a hint of a trail in the ground. The rhinogs are a classic area for this quirk. 

Post edited at 11:30
Andy Say - on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to pasbury:

Perhaps more importantly the indication of a right of way on an OS map is no indication that there is a path.  As your story indicates.  Its a common error to assume that that trusty ol' green dotted line indicates there is something on the ground to follow.  A quick look at the Lakes maps (many good examples) show RoWs indicated down waterfalls, over crags and straight across scree slopes.  If you are looking at a ruler straight RoW marked in hill terrain you are probably looking at something actually drawn with a ruler in a cosy office once upon a time and not something that has actually been surveyed on the ground.

Welsh Kate - on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to pasbury:

Green dashed line on OS 1:25 = public right of way: there may not be a path or even a 'path'

Black dashed line on OS = there's actually a 'path' there

Green dashed line + black dashed line = you can be pretty certain there's something definitely there, and it's a public right of way

Green dashed line intersects field boundary - there should be a gate or a stile, regardless of whether there's actually a path or 'path' along the right of way. This knowledge can be really useful!

subtle on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to Welsh Kate:

> Green dashed line intersects field boundary - there should be a gate or a stile, regardless of whether there's actually a path or 'path' along the right of way. This knowledge can be really useful!

Thanks - I find most knowledge is useful.

timjones - on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to Welsh Kate:

 

> Black dashed line on OS = there's actually a 'path' there

 

I think i would class this as wishful thinking in many cases ;)

 

 

 

Mike Peacock on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to pasbury:

The going is pretty rough in those parts but it is indeed a wonderful part of Wales. I've never done a route across Waun y Griafolen but it is described as possible in Peter Hermon's Hillwalking in Wales books. It looks like a great route.

Mike Peacock on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

>  A quick look at the Lakes maps (many good examples) show RoWs indicated down waterfalls, over crags and straight across scree slopes. 

One of my favourites is this RoW that merrily leaves the summit of Moel Hebog over vertical crags:

http://www.geograph.org.uk/browse.php?p=312738

 

Babika - on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to pasbury:

> ... is no evidence of the existence of a right of way (to paraphrase the OS).

How true.

I made the rookie mistake of following a double dashed path through a local forest last week. The path ran out and we blundered around in undergrowth for ages. The only way out without climbing any walls or fences seemed to be beside a house  and onto the main road via a 100m drive.

Unfortunately we were attacked by a pack of 4 Rottweiler's and 2 Alsatians who rushed towards us and sunk their teeth into our legs. Fortunately the Dobermans were in a cage barking manically or we'd probably be dead. The owner called them off while I apologised profusely but it taught me a big lesson about RoW versus tracks on maps.    

I feel sorry for the postman or the local DPD man

no_more_scotch_eggs - on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to pasbury:

Yes. I encountered this while on an evening trundle on my mountain bike, stringing together bridleway sections above Calderdale. Most were reassuringly dry and rideable, until I found one that wasn’t. Even the walls that were supposed to have existed on either side of it, didn’t. 

Faced with 2km of carrying my bike through thigh deep bog and reeds, in already fading daylight, i wondered if i was about to have some sort of epic virtually within smelling distance of the chippies of hebden bridge 

I cut my losses and carried the bike through marginally less deep bog, and a field with some rather hostile looking horses, up to the road and back to the car, chastened and sodden from the waist down...

Pids - on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to Babika:

 

> Unfortunately we were attacked by a pack of 4 Rottweiler's and 2 Alsatians who rushed towards us and sunk their teeth into our legs. Fortunately the Dobermans were in a cage barking manically or we'd probably be dead. The owner called them off while I apologised profusely but it taught me a big lesson about RoW versus tracks on maps.    

Apology? Should you not be contacting the police to report the dogs biting you?

 

Babika - on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to Pids:

Well yes. But since I was actually on his land, I guess I didn't have too many cards to play.

I suspect the owner may be known to police anyway. I mean who on earth keeps that level of canine "security" without having a reason to feel someone might be out for them?

mysterion on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to pasbury:

Yep, it's like the Lost World down in that bowl. I'm just glad I wasn't imagining it.

alan moore - on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to pasbury:

That all sounds fantastic!

Its an empty quarter I have never visited.

Good for you!

pasbury on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to alan moore:

> That all sounds fantastic!

> Its an empty quarter I have never visited.

It is, there's no visible human structures from certain points, just a bit of forestry peeping up. It's like a giant bowl surrounded by low hills with higher peaks peeping into view (Arenig Fawr, Moel Llyfnant, Rhinogs etc.) I saw no-one in two days, not even a single bootprint.

Bulls Crack - on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to Mike Peacock:

But that is a common way up? eg http://www.masarnenramblers.com/moel-hebog.html 

Moley on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to pasbury:

It's great round there isn't it, one reason why this round can be such a sod in places ...http://www.gofar.org.uk/MeirionnyddRound.html

Unfortunately it doesn't get the attention it deserves, I'm determined to backpack it all one day (well, over several days).

pasbury on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to Moley:

That looks great and very tough - one for long summer days. Bugger running it though!

Trangia on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> Perhaps more importantly the indication of a right of way on an OS map is no indication that there is a path.  As your story indicates.  Its a common error to assume that that trusty ol' green dotted line indicates there is something on the ground to follow. 

Another common misunderstanding is that the dotted green line shown on a map be there a physical path there or not is an accurate reflection of where the right of way runs. It's not, it's only indicative. 

A friend of mine was with a group of walking mates and had an run in with an estate land owner for stopping on a right of way to have a coffee break. The land owner had seen them and sent one of his gardeners over saying that there is no right to stop on a public footpath. Wrong. You can stop on a public footpath for a picnic, flask of coffee, take a photo, admire the view, have a rest or whatever, so long as you don't obstruct it for other users. 

When my friend pointed this out to the gardener, the gardener tried to argue that he was trespassing and not precisely on the footpath as shown on the OS. My friend again pointed out that the dotted green line is indicative only and not accurate to within a few yards, particularly on  a 1:50,000 or 1:25,000 scale.

The gardener became increasingly agitated and started shouting abuse at them saying he was going to call the police to which my friend replied "Go ahead, you do that, and tell your employer that next time he wants to try and intimidate walkers to have the courtesy of doing it himself rather than sending a lackey " and poured himself another coffee adding "Off you go now"

galpinos on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to Bulls Crack:

Doesn't your post prove the previous posters point? The RoW is shown in short dashed green, to the north of the route taken (which I assume is the thick black line dawn over the longer dashed black of a path with no RoW which IS the route everyone takes).

MG - on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to Trangia:

> The land owner had seen them and sent one of his gardeners over saying that there is no right to stop on a public footpath. Wrong. You can stop on a public footpath for a picnic, flask of coffee, take a photo, admire the view, have a rest or whatever, so long as you don't obstruct it for other users. 

Are you sure about that?  I thought the right was to "pass and repass" or similar legalese, rather than anything broader.  Any lawyers?

Mike Peacock on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to Bulls Crack:

> But that is a common way up? eg http://www.masarnenramblers.com/moel-hebog.html 


No, look at the RoW - it goes over the cliffs. The actual path that people use isn't the RoW but is the black path marked on the map.

http://www.geograph.org.uk/showmap.php?gridref=SH5647

Stuart (aka brt) - on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to MG:

From the Ramblers:

"Your legal right is to “pass and repass along the way”. You may stop to rest or admire the view, or to consume refreshments, providing you stay on the path and do not cause an obstruction. You can also take with you a “natural accompaniment” which includes a pram, or pushchair.

You can also legally take a manual or powered wheelchair (mobility scooter) provided you follow the regulations for taking these vehicles on ordinary roads. However there is no guarantee that the surface of the path will be suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.

You can take a dog with you, but you must ensure it is under close control. Note that there is no requirement for stiles to be suitable for use by dogs."

Trangia on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to MG:

> Are you sure about that? 

Yes, it's clearly set out on the Ramblers' website and in most County Council's websites

 

MG - on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to Trangia:

OK. I had in mind something I read about using a footpath to view horseracing (avoiding paying) and this being deemed illegal. 

Moley on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to pasbury:

> That looks great and very tough - one for long summer days. Bugger running it though!

I'm way too long in the tooth to run it, though I have been present and supported some attempts. I still dream of packing the tent and doing it over 3-4 days, that would damn near finish me off!

Billhook - on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to MG:

Correct!

"........If there is use (of a right of way) other than   passing and repassing, or a purpose reasonably incidental thereto, a user  exceeds his entitlement to be on the land and becomes a trespasser."  Rights of Way Riddall & RTrevelyan"

 

In Harrison v Duke of Rutland (1893)  Harrison went of to a public carriageway over the Duke's land walked up and down and waved flags and shouted to disturb grouse and interfere with a shooting party.  He was evicted and the court held he'd exceeded his rights of passage and was a tresspasser.

 

In Hickman v Maisey (1900) Maisey used a highway for over an hour to take notes of race horses' performance close by which belonged to Hickman.  Lord Justice Smith stated that; "if a man, whilst using a highway for passage, sat down for a time to rest himself, to call that a trespass  would be unreasonable.  Similarly, if a man took a sketch from a highway, I should say that no reasonable person would treat that as an act of trespass.".

 

So it would appear that you can have your cake and eat it.

 

Post edited at 21:03
Sam Beaton on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to Billhook:

> "........If there is use (of a right of way) other than   passing and repassing, or a purpose reasonably incidental thereto, a user  exceeds his entitlement to be on the land and becomes a trespasser."  Rights of Way Riddall & RTrevelyan"

Something I've always wondered about in relation to being able to do something reasonably incidental to passing and re-passing is this:

Walking 400m from the car and pitching a tent on a PROW is clearly trespass. But if one was engaged in backpacking a long distance route like the Coast to Coast, could one argue that, as the walk couldn't be completed in a day, pitching a tent and sleeping in it would be reasonably incidental to the journey and therefore not trespass?

 

pasbury on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to Billhook:

> Correct!

> "........If there is use (of a right of way) other than   passing and repassing, or a purpose reasonably incidental thereto, a user  exceeds his entitlement to be on the land and becomes a trespasser."  Rights of Way Riddall & RTrevelyan"

> In Harrison v Duke of Rutland (1893)  Harrison went of to a public carriageway over the Duke's land walked up and down and waved flags and shouted to disturb grouse and interfere with a shooting party.  He was evicted and the court held he'd exceeded his rights of passage and was a tresspasser.

> In Hickman v Maisey (1900) Maisey used a highway for over an hour to take notes of race horses' performance close by which belonged to Hickman.  Lord Justice Smith stated that; "if a man, whilst using a highway for passage, sat down for a time to rest himself, to call that a trespass  would be unreasonable.  Similarly, if a man took a sketch from a highway, I should say that no reasonable person would treat that as an act of trespass.".

> So it would appear that you can have your cake and eat it.

Or that one should enjoy the rights accorded to us and not have to tug your forelock m’lud everytime you tread the good earth.

pasbury on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to Moley:

> I'm way too long in the tooth to run it, though I have been present and supported some attempts. I still dream of packing the tent and doing it over 3-4 days, that would damn near finish me off!

Do it!

Bulls Crack - on 30 Apr 2018
In reply to Mike Peacock:

Ahh missed the red dots!

Definitive map error!

Billhook - on 01 May 2018
In reply to Sam Beaton:

Interesting question Sam.

You'd have to decide whether 'a reasonable person' would think it was exceeding your entitlement.  Sounds reasonable to me.

In practice though I cannot see a landowner ever bothering or being able to make it worthwhile to take one or two walkers to court for spending one night on a footpath/bridleway crossing his land.

uphillnow - on 02 May 2018
In reply to pasbury:

Some years back, having noticed the difference between the path on the ground and its representation by the green public footpath on the map I tried to follow up on this. I came into contact with a person who's work brief included being  a footpath officer for a council (?). From what I recall this person said it was often to do with transferring from an older (small scale) definitive map to the present often larger scale modern map. 

Also perhaps the accuracy of a marked footpath was less important on early maps when there were few recreational walkers and the locals who used the footpath new where it was!

Having worked on ML courses I have seen so many candidates confused by the fact that the marked public footpath often strayed well away from the path on the ground 

Lusk - on 02 May 2018
In reply to uphillnow:

> I have seen so many candidates confused by the fact that the marked public footpath often strayed well away from the path on the ground

Are you sure they weren't lost?

When planning new walks I use the freely available aerial imaging to check where paths are or aren't.

pasbury on 02 May 2018
In reply to uphillnow:

Maybe access land will affect the existence of paths on the ground now. Some of these rights of way are clearly based on paths that were there for utilitarian purposes I.e. from one valley to another, up to a quarry or from valley to high pasture.

Now it’s far more important to get access to the boundaries of access land and once on it then desire lines may be more important than historic paths.

Sam Beaton on 03 May 2018
In reply to pasbury:

That has already happened on the Burbage and Houndkirk Moors. These moors were access land designated under the 1949 act (i.e. long before CROW) and a lot of the paths that are used now, especially west of Higgar Tor and Carl's Wark, bear little resemblance to what is shown on the definitive map.

malky_c - on 03 May 2018
In reply to Mike Peacock:

I have always found that amusing, however there is some kind of route there, depending on your definition. If you look through the Tremadog and Cwm Silyn climbing guide, there is a rake called 'The Companionway' which traverses diagonally across the face of the crags in roughly the location of the marked path. I have been up it a couple of times and it involves a slimy chimney followed by a heathery walk (I think, not been up there for years), and you can get to the top of the crags without too much bother. Wouldn't fancy finding my way down it though!

Mike Peacock on 03 May 2018
In reply to malky_c:

Funnily enough I am aware of the Companionway. As a lover of esoteric routes and scrambles it was on my list of things to do, but I never did get round to it when I lived in Wales. The same is true of Glyndwr's Ladder on the other side of the hill.

uphillnow - on 03 May 2018
In reply to Lusk:

Not so much an issue now my observations related to earlier before the widespread use of GPS and electronic aids. 


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