Peak & Northern Footpaths Society (est.1894)


David Gosling, Trustee

This article is from Signpost 66, Spring 2020

It was a sad day when PNFS lost its Chairman, David Hurrell, in September. The tributes to him published in this edition of Signpost demonstrate the high regard in which he was held. He was a calm, steady hand, guiding the Society. We miss him enormously.

I am delighted to announce that the Society has appointed Dr Kathy McLean OBE to replace David as the Chair from January 2021. Kathy is a footpaths inspector based in Derby and an enthusiastic walker and bird watcher. Professionally Kathy has been a clinician and senior executive in the NHS. She is currently Chair of the University Hospitals Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust and a non-Executive Director at Barts Health NHS Trust, in London. Kathy was awarded the OBE over a year ago.

At the November Management Meeting Kathy responded to questions put to her by the officers of the Society. She spoke about how she had discovered PNFS through her friend Diane Fortescue who is also a footpaths inspector. Kathy explained how much she was enjoying the job of monitoring rights of way in her parishes in the Derbyshire Dales, City of Derby and Erewash. Kathy fully supports the aims of the Society and is keen to increase our membership, and the influence of the Society in the region.

Kathy says: “I am delighted to be offered the opportunity to become chair of Peak and Northern Footpaths Society. The work of volunteer members has a significant impact on the availability and safety of public rights of way. I am looking forward to working alongside Trustees and members as the society continues to develop and grow.”

One project which the Society will be supporting in the New Year is Slow Ways, which is a project to create a network of walking routes, using existing paths, that connect all of Great Britain’s towns and cities as well as thousands of villages. A network of 7,000 walking routes will connect about 2,500 towns, cities, and principal destinations across the country. It is hoped that the initiative will lead to more people walking, more often, for more reasons and purposes and will make it easier for people to plan their journeys on foot (both short and long distance).

Our Society will be helping to ensure that all the routes identified by Slow Way are open and usable by walkers. Linda Smith will be coordinating the Society’s collaboration with Slow Ways.

These limited rights are under threat by the government's proposal to criminalise trespass. Although intended to enable landowners to take action against raves and squatters, there is a real risk that all of us could find ourselves subject to criminal action by landowners who want to deter walkers from their land.

Photograph by the late David Hurrell

Next: AGM

Page title:Welcome
If you'd like a reply, please include your contact details.
Your message is being sent.
Your message has been sent. Thank you.
Message sending failed - sorry. As an alternative you might like to try the Contact the webmaster form.