Scrapbook ~ Nature walks throughout the year
Saturday 7th November 2009
Boreham Street - Hooe - Boreham Street
A combination of the
sun in our eyes, wet
roads and a rear tyre that's seen better days, ensured that we had a very
cautious ride to East Sussex this morning. We were already filled with a small
amount of foreboding due to our previous experiences of walking in the far east
of the county
and today our worst fears came true. Quite frankly, walkers are obviously not
wanted here, as most of the footpath signs hereabouts were either lying on the ground
rotting, were thrown in hedges and ditches, were turned round the wrong way or
plain missing. Most of the stiles are entirely grown over, are in dangerous
condition, covered in barbed wire, invisible from only yards away or are missing
entirely and have been replaced with fences and locked gates. The footpaths
themselves are quite likely to have been moved (without detour signs), crossed
by barbed wire and electric fences or just seem to have got up and walked!
There are some footpaths in East Sussex that are very well signposted, namely
ten long-distance footpaths that cross the county, the ones which all of the
tourists are urged to use. These however make up only a small percentage of the
entire footpath coverage and so if you really want to explore you're going to be
up the creek. Yes, a map and compass can get you about the place, but what
happens when you arrive at a water channel that is not on the map and the
ambiguous signpost doesn't tell you which side of the channel to walk along? Neither
side looks like a footpath (no one bothers walking out here, can you blame them?
We only saw one other couple out walking: they were lost!) but one side is the
correct path while the other leads to a dead end a mile ahead. Have this happen
to you twenty times and the last thing you're doing is having a relaxing walk in
Apparently there is a Rights Of Way Officer for
East Sussex County Council.
However, the only indications that he's ever done anything, are the little
signs that he stuck up one afternoon at sporadic, easy to reach points, that tell
you what a good job he's doing.
This area is a
beautiful part of our country that is perfect for walkers of all abilities but
the public footpaths have become very hard for the public to use. The only signs of any maintenance to the paths were those
carried out by local volunteers, but it's unfortunate that the only reason the
paths are still open at all is due to these fine people and not to any
assistance from the local authorities and landowners. Perhaps we're just spoilt, as the footpaths in
West Sussex are so very well maintained, but so are the many other footpaths we've used
throughout the UK.
By the time we'd got only half-way through our route the time was getting on and we
were forced to shorten our walk substantially before we were left out there in the
dark. We decided to finish the day by sitting in front of the fire at
The Bull's Head, Boreham Street and chucking down some seasonal and local
Harvey's Old Ale.
We did meet some very friendly locals though
In actual fact, this was one of the better footpath signs. At least it points in
Instead of pointing in three directions, this one just pointed at the ground.
This one had given up pointing a long time ago.
This was a hand hold (for safety) on a broken stile. Thanks very much!
Tetanus jabs anyone?
This could've been us!
A broken, invisible, overgrown stile.
God bless em, otherwise this small stream would have been impassable.
The clearest sign all day although thankfully very
St. Oswald's, Hooe. We were lucky to get this far!
The hassocks in St Oswald's, Hooe are
embroidered with pictures of all of the village houses.
Magic Mushrooms in one of the many horse fields.
This is Waller's Haven, which we had to
Luckily for us there were still bridges!