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Annual Report for 2010

President’s preamble

Our rules specify that a chairman is to serve for only three years. Peter B has now completed his tour of duty, chairing our meetings very amiably and efficiently and taking a real interest in our LFA projects. We are grateful to him and hope that we can acquire an equally keen volunteer as his replacement at our AGM.

Each of our walking groups has gone from strength to strength. Those of us who are now older and less energetic regret that ‘you youngsters’ do not explore as much countryside as we did years ago and that walks are often cautiously chosen (to be less than 6 miles, based on a pub, in countryside not too far from home) but we are really pleased to see that this attracts newcomers and that our numbers have expanded. We note that spin-off groups for longer walks have recently been formed and all seem to be flourishing. Thanks to all walks organisers who manage so efficiently to get leaders for the extensive programme offered. It is good that we can provide so many competent leaders to take charge of groups to explore so many Leicestershire’s footpaths.

We can be pleased with the success so far of our Country Parks Walks book, which finally made it into print in June. My report last year was written when prospects were poor, and I certainly went through many nail-biting moments about publication but we can now report that the book has been well printed, well circulated, well received, well reviewed and well sold, thanks to the hard work of so many people.

The Thursday group members volunteered to take responsibility for publishing decisions and they visited Cordee Press, accompanied by Jennifer McG (as minutes secretary) and Peter as Chairman, to discover what actions were necessary and at what price we thought the book should sell. We agreed that £7.99p was a reasonable price for a book of this quality, to cover our costs. Jim G produced flyers for advertising and arranged for permission for reproduction of Ordnance Survey maps and for the use of their logo, as well as that of County Hall on the cover of the book. He also arranged for the bar code to appear and for the initial delivery of books to be stored temporarily in a warehouse.

Cordee agreed to act as wholesaler and to sell the book through bookshops and the internet while we sold through personal contacts, small outlet shops, post offices, garden centres and Country Parks, libraries and museums. Thanks to walk organisers and our walking members, we have sold a very large number. Special thanks to those members who have taken boxes of books to sell at local outlets (Ken B, Rosie C, Heather M, Christine S, Jennifer McG) and to those who have sold multiple copies to friends and family. This has made a significant reduction in the pile of boxes stored in the disused chimney breast in my office…but please can we have more volunteers to take the rest of the boxes? (It may be some time before we can sell the remaining copies)

We can, I think, take pride in the book and in the concept of encouraging people young and old to begin walking our well kept paths (and expand into walks further afield). Our Treasurer, can tell you how well we have done so far at recuperating costs, and paying for the necessary outlay expenses. Thanks to all of you who have contributed to our enjoyment of our year’s walking.

Heather MacD. Chairman’s remarks

This year seems to have passed me by without leaving any highlight to hang my boots on. Perhaps because all has been well and we have walked and walked and….

Unfortunately I realise I have failed to keep last years resolution to walk at least once with each group. I did lead twice on a Saturday and as a result met Ken Wadd who has recently died. He was not walking but was waiting with Martin at a point where we crossed a road. It was a nice encounter and showed a great determination by him not to lose interest in the LFA after over 60 years. A wonderful achievement – he will be missed.

The Wednesday group have started to do a 7/8 mile walk as an extra to the regular 5/6 miles. Initially we tested one a month which was a great success. The winter programme includes more and the next programme should have them fortnightly as they have established a good following. Our thanks go to Ray D for being Wednesday ramblers’ organiser for several years. He has done well and can now relax whilst Roger Whittle finds our leaders.

The LFA’s membership continues to grow and each walk seems to attract more walkers. This can cause a problem in selecting a pub as they can be overwhelmed if our group is larger than we implied at the time of the booking. I had hoped during my term as Chairman to harmonise the programme format and convince our Tuesday group to list the starting point. They are still unwilling to do this after voting among their leaders so it will be left to my successor to continue to try and persuade them.

I suppose in financial terms the arrival of the Country walks book was the highlight I was looking for. Thanks to all who grasped the nettle and distributed them to our members and likely sales points. This was a great achievement with over 1000 sales.

Finally I must tell you how much I have enjoyed the last three years as your Chairman. Mainly because we have a wonderful committee who do the work entrusted to them and always attend meetings with a smile. These meetings are usually shorter than we allow time for and we leave knowing that the LFA is safe. Next year it will be interesting to see the extent of the Council cuts. Times are changing, departmental responsibility for footpaths is moving to Highways. I expect we will notice more after April when their new financial year starts. This will be a challenge. I wish my successor, together with all members, healthy walking in 2011. Peter B Secretary’s Report

I can report your committee has met on eight occasions throughout the year at Thurnby United Reform Church with good attendance. Many alterations to the footpath system have been considered, some controversial and others not so.

Travel, Choice and Access You would be wrong in thinking this was an invitation to visit some foreign resort. Following a budget review of departments at County Hall, the above descriptive title is now the department responsible among other things for looking after rights of way in our County. The head of the department is Mr. Ian V and Eddie McW is dealing with rights of way. The budget for 2011 has not yet been determined but is bound to be cut and time will tell what effect this will have on the maintenance of rights of way in our County.

We are older than we thought! Martin Wadd raised in correspondence with our Chairman the question of our foundation date. It was quite clear and recorded in “The Well Trodden Path”, page 9, the first meeting was held on the 9th July, 1886 and therefore this must be when our Association came into existence. There will be a 125th anniversary walk organised on Saturday, 9th July, 2011.

Wind farms Wind farm developments have also been considered by your committee and where appropriate, representations have been made where the enjoyment of rights of way would be affected. In particular proposed sites near to Bottesford, Old Dalby, Queniborough and the old Asfordy Mine have been monitored during their course through planning application procedures. The Bottesford and Queniborough applications were refused, likewise at the Old Airfield at Market Harborough where three 410 ft turbines had been proposed. Melton Borough Council have given approval for a nine turbine wind farm near the A46 close to Old Dalby. The proposal is to build nine 259 feet turbines. Do not therefore be surprised in the coming years to see turbines in our countryside whilst on some walks.

Croft Quarry – review of mineral planning permission The Association submitted the following representations: “Our Association are generally satisfied with the current quarry operations at Croft and are pleased with the artificial hill nearer Huncote and its screening and the nature reserve to the North of the hill and access provided. It is realised this present application relates to a review of the quarry operations but in the long term we are anxious for the appropriate protection be given to access rights at Croft Hill. Footpath V67 which leaves the Fosse Way and links to the sidings at Croft is used by our Association from time to time and its retention is welcomed.”Croft Hill is approximately 128 metres high and is five miles from High Cross. Good views are afforded towards Leicester in the East and Hinckley to the West.

Rights of way at Huit Farm, Earl Shilton. A section of Breach Lane which leads to the farm is not recorded on the definitive map of rights of way. Leicestershire County Council have asked ourselves and the Ramblers Association and the Bridleways Association to make claims for this to be rectified. However, user evidence has been hard to come by. Jenny B has very kindly completed a user form as has also a Mr. Freer of Earl Shilton. However, their use relates to foot passage only and does not deal with other rights such as vehicle traffic and horse riding. Vicky A of the Bridleways Association is making inquiries of their members and it is hoped a claim will be made in due course. When I walked Breach Lane, there were no notices indicating it was a private drive and it does seem there is ample evidence to claim rights of way on foot based on past usage. Saturday walkers used the lane on the 16th October.

Sponsored walks. These type of events have proved very popular over many years now and monies raised are very valuable additions to the funds of charities. The Association were contacted by LASS (Responding to the challenges of HIV & AIDS) for assistance in planning routes for a fund raising event on the 31st July. I attended their headquarters at the Michael Wood Centre on Regent Road and four walks of varying length were plotted from the “Wheel Inn” at Rearsby. It is hoped the satisfaction from doing walks in this way will lead to more members of the public exploring and enjoying our rights of way system.

Walking festivals A walk for the National Forest Walking festival was arranged from Markfield on 22nd May when lovely weather helped to make this a memorable occasion. Seventeen people supported the walk and new contacts were made with members of the public. Later in the year it was reported in the Leicester Mercury, the National Forest are facing £160,000 budget cut this year because of Government cuts. It was announced in October the National Forest Company escaped the funding axe. Some 120 people are employed by the National Company in Moira. Let us hope this will now see the aim of converting one third of the land within the boundaries to wood completed and make the National Forest an important recreational area. I attended with my wife and Heather at the launch of the Leicestershire Walking week on the 17th August, and a short health-boosting walk round King Lear’s Lake was organised. Rosemary C, Peter O, (County Council Chairman) and the Lord Mayor of Leicester supported the launch. Heather led a Saturday walk from Markfield on the 4th September and this attracted five people.

Ashby Canal. Many members will have enjoyed walks organised along our canals and you may be aware of the attempts by the Ashby Canal Association to complete the missing link from Snarestone to Moira Furnace. Some 44 years ago this section was closed due to subsidence. On the 5th August a small extension to the Pumping Station was filled with water. It is considered by your committee to be an excellent project which will benefit us on walks in that area and therefore a contribution to the cost of restoration has been approved from our funds in the amount of £100.00p.

New permissive bridleway at Lyddington For those members who like to explore new walks then this may interest you but the access agreement ends on the 20th September, 2014. The agreement is between Lyddington farmers T.W. Brown & Sons with Natural England. The route commences at the South of the village adjacent to where the Rutland Round leaves the village in a Southerly direction. The circular route is 2.7 miles and there should be a notice board on site describing the route. For other permissive access in Leicestershire and Rutland type in Google search engine and look for Educational access sites – defra UK – rural affairs.

Glen Parva Local Nature Reserve Blaby District Council have declared that land containing 11 hectares situated at Glen Parva has been created a nature reserve under Section 16 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act, 1949. This will ensure protection for the public to enjoy and can be approached from entry points at Needham Avenue, The Bridle and Glen Rise. The old Great Central Railway line and a Sustrans cycle route are partly encompassed within the reserve.

Leicestershire Access Forum Meeting – 23rd November. Clive F and myself attended this meeting and met the Chairman Roy D. The Forum discusses rights of way issues among other factors affecting the countryside and has representatives from local organisations from within the County as members. Particular matters discussed affecting rights of way were stiles that had replaced kissing gates on a crossing of the railway line by public footpath close to Frisby on the Wreake. It was agreed kissing gates were safer than stiles at such crossing and therefore were preferred and Network Rail would be so advised. Stewardship schemes organised by Natural England will run their course but will not be renewed because of financial restraints. This was considered to be a loss to walkers, horse riders and cyclists in the Countryside. Interestingly, a member of the British Mountaineering Council had attended the meeting seeking support in the opening up of old quarries to members of the public for recreational use such as climbing, walking, running and creating natures reserves. There is abundance of old quarries in Leicestershire. Whilst welcoming this type of initiative the forum members recognised difficulties in convincing landowners this would be a good idea.

Bulls On Public Footpaths The legal position is covered by Section 59 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981 which makes it an offence, subject to important exceptions, for the occupier of a field crossed by a right of way to cause or allow a bull to be at large in it. The exceptions are:- a) bulls not more than ten months old, and b) bulls which are not of a recognised dairy breed and which are at large with cows or heifers. Dairy breeds are Ayrshire, British Friesian, British Holstein, Dairy Shorthorn, Guernsey, Jersey, and Kerry. Any bull over the age of ten months is prohibited on its own, and any such bull of a recognised dairy breed is prohibited even if accompanied by cows or heifers. Generally speaking it is the dairy bulls which are the most aggressive and hence excluded. Beef bulls are less aggressive but must not be under estimated. The full circumstances of the tragedy at Stanford on Soar have yet to be determined. The attack by a bull on a member of the public is rare but where a bull appears in a field it is important to recognise the possibility of risk and proceed with care. If in doubt, turn back or if possible a slight diversion can be done, then proceed in that way. Statistics supplied to our Association by the National Farmer’s Union confirm on average, two people each year were killed by bulls.

Diversions and Closures Report

Your committee has considered thirty-eight applications for diversions and closures of rights of way. Many are small alterations to the rights of way and are non-contentious. However, in the following cases, objections or representations have been made to the order making authority.

Addition of footpath N108 Off St. George’s Hill, Swannington and extinguishment Of footpath N28. There was also an application to divert part of footpath N28 but the Association’s efforts were concentrated on adding footpath N108 and written evidence was submitted in support of use of the footpath over the last thirty years. There then followed a two day hearing in February before an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for the Environment. The applicant owner had acquired number 65, St. George’s Hill but following difficulties with path users had erected an electric fence at the entrance to his drive thus preventing access to the claimed footpath. N108 had been used by local people and rambling clubs for many years but on a slightly different route than was recorded on the definitive map of rights of way. The Inspector confirmed the existence of the footpath with a small amendment. Therefore access will continue as before along the driveway of number 65, St. George’s Hill. The application to divert N28 failed because of the unsuitability for users of the suggested diversionary route.

Diversion of bridleway K57 at Pocket Gate Cottage, Woodhouse Eaves. Application to divert this right of way commenced in 2005 and resulted in a failed Public Inquiry in 2007. Subsequently a further application has now been made to divert the bridleway in the interests of the landowner. Our Association, together with Woodhouse Eaves Parish Council, Bridleways Association and local people have maintained our objection to this diversion because we are satisfied there is a health and safety issue in relation to the diverted route suggested. The route takes users close to the bank of a stream and between a garage and the width of three metres is not sufficient in these circumstances for users to pass safely at this particular point.

Proposed Gating Orders on the Little Hill Estate, Wigston. In 2006 our Association were consulted over proposals to make Gating Orders at Georgeham Close to Ambler Close, Crowan Drive to Kevern Close and Bodenham Close to Wellhouse Close on the Little Hill Estate under Section 129A of the Highways Act, 1980. Such orders were deemed necessary to curb anti-social behaviour, vandalism and hooliganism following complaints by local residents. In January 2010 formal notices were published whereby twenty-four hour closure orders were sought in respect of these connecting footpaths. A statement has been sent to the Local Authority opposing these orders as being too draconian. Such orders if necessary should be kept to a minimum and mirror those days of the week and times when anti social behaviour or criminal behaviour has taken place. At a meeting of the Development Control and Regulatory Board at County Hall in November, members approved a twenty-four hour, seven days a week order in respect of the footpath between Crowan Drive and Kevern Close only. The Council are required to review this from time to time.

Proposed extinguishment of footpath R91(Part) Glebe Farm, Lindridge Farm, Desford This application came from the owner of the farm who was suggesting this footpath did not link to other rights of way on the Western side of Lindridge Lane and is not therefore needed by the public. It was also considered by the owner that pedestrians were unlikely to choose to walk alongside the carriageway of Lindridge Lane which is a narrow road with no pavement for the majority of its length. Our Association have used this section of footpath and from further inquiries made of local people it would seem this footpath is used regularly by residents and a local walking group. In view of these facts notification has been sent to the Local Authority of our intention to object to such extinguishment. In November an application was considered and approved to divert the footpath out of the farm yard to be moved further to the south east of the farm.

Addition of public footpath X58 from Wimbourne Road to footpath Z6 at Oadby. Our Association were first consulted over this matter in June 2003. In April, 2008 County Hall, advised us the application is supported by evidence that the route has been used uninterrupted and without challenge by the public for more than twenty years. The addition proceeds Eastwards from Wimbourne Road and then between the Squash Club and Club House and then links Z6 just South of Palmerston Way (A563). Chris A of our Association had completed a user form. A public inquiry has now been arranged for Wednesday, 12th of January 2011.

Footpath W29 – The Pastures, Narborough – Conversion of footpath to shared cycle use. Reference was made in last year’s Annual Report to these proposals. Local residents were most unhappy over these proposals and made objections to the order being made. The Leicestershire County Council advised in January 2010, the Order will not be made.

Treasurer’s Report

2010 was of course the launch of the Country Park Walks Book. Heather has not only produced the book but has also been the main advocate for the marketing, so much so that we have recouped a majority of the costs. It was never meant to be a profitable exercise and so we can feel very pleased with the early results. Congratulations Heather.

The accounts this year, therefore, show a deficit of £1150.20p but we still have a healthy Bank balance of £8531.44.

Individual membership stands at a healthy 300 members (21 members failed to renew their subs for various reasons) and 54 Parish Councils (4 not paid)

206 members subscribe to Gift Aid Scheme (the more the merrier – please contact me if you are a tax payer and do not presently subscribe)

Sales of the Leicestershire Round badges have increased.

Membership subscriptions still remain at £5 – fantastic value for money in this day and age. Jane D Obstruction Officer’s report

During 2010 the number of reports received from members concerning problems on rights of way has recovered from the low point of 2009. However, this is still much lower than numbers received say about ten years ago. In last year’s report, I went to some length to surmise what the reasons might be for this. I am now sure this is mostly due to the more active response by County Hall in recent years to the reports of our members and those reports by other walking groups and individuals.

The political scene has changed radically since last May and the drive to reduce the government’s deficit will have its effect at County Hall. I do not know the details of what is to come but spending budgets will be cut and I do not see much hope that the ROW budget will escape which will surely mean a reduction in the funds available to put ROW problems right.

In other parts of the country as examples – An entire ROW team is being made redundant – a ROW budget is being cut from between 50% and 75% this year – Over three years there will be an 85% cut in the ROW budget.

At the time of our next AGM we will know what is happening in Leicestershire and hopefully we can work out how to respond to changes in the ROW budget and what we need to do to support keeping the rights of way in a satisfactory state to walk. Maybe we should carry secateurs with us on our walks. Certain footpaths could quickly become virtually impassable.

We have rights of passage on rights of way entrenched in law and until these laws are repealed (which I think is most unlikely) we should do our utmost to use and maintain these rights.

It is my belief if we keep on reporting problems, this will keep the pressure on County Hall such that they cannot be ignored. So keep your reports rolling in and I will send them on to County Hall. However, I think it is likely putting problems right will take even longer in the future.

Finally our thanks should be given to those who have provided such helpful support, during 2010 and before, from the Rights of Way department at County Hall and also to the Highways Inspectors who go out and look at the problems on the ground. Although this organisation might well be recognised to become more efficient, it would be a shame if it were to be made so dysfunctional that the requirement to keep rights of way open becomes impaired. Clive F Webmaster’s Report

The Leicestershire Footpath Association is an organisation that is open for anyone to join. While we do welcome new members introduced by existing members it is important that we take steps to welcome the wider public to join us and one way of achieving this is through our web site. We therefore need to provide factual information about our activities and this is done by making the annual report, newsletters and perhaps most importantly the programme of walks available for potential new members to peruse before taking the plunge to make contact. Having taken a look over the site I realise that I need to improve its visual appeal. You will be well aware that I don’t get out on many walks, but when I do I try to take some pictures, but I need more. I invite you please to submit pictures with captions or even a short piece about the group enjoying a great walk. The site is getting a steady flow of visitors on average five a day, not a huge number but these could be five people who now know something of our activities who didn’t before they clicked on When did you last click? Ken B Monday evening walks

2010 saw more evening walks and generally higher numbers, averaging in the high teens. The record was at Countesthorpe, when there were about 8 present with ten minutes to go, but walkers kept coming from all directions, so that we finished with 29. Several new members have joined through the evening walks and we now have a smallish core walking regularly. Others have done individual walks for a variety of reasons: the walk being nearer their home, the weather being particularly nice, not being able to walk on their usual day that week. So it’s a chance to come along and meet other LFA members who don’t walk on ‘your’ day – and there will be more opportunities to do so this year as the walks will be weekly. Watch out for Summer walks 2011, starting on Monday 9th May!

Tuesday walks

The Tuesday group are still going strong with a good number of walkers every week. We have some new members who are now taking on the challenge of leading and doing a very good job. Our walks have been very enjoyable and varied. We have covered all areas of the County and only repeated two pubs. Well done and thanks to all the leaders. Our most spectacular walk was from Thurcaston, December 7th, Leader John R. The fabulous hoare frost made for a winter wonderland. A special thank you to John J for a super coach ramble to Malvern in August. Thanks also to Eric and Colin for their help. We are looking for a volunteer to organise next years coach ramble. May be a few people could get together to do this. Please think about it because it would be a pity to lose a good social occasion. This Christmas we have collected £90 for the Air Ambulance instead of buying cards. Many thanks to John J for organising the Christmas lunch walk when 46 of us sat down at the Bosworth Hall Hotel for a most enjoyable meal. Jenny T Wednesday walks

The year started cold and finished cold, but we still had a good share of fine Wednesdays. Last year where an above average of accidents happened, illness and various operations took place, this year was more uneventful. We still have the problem of pubs closing down making a last minute change of venue. This happened three or four times during the year, a sign of the times. Average number of walkers are around twenty-five. The new initiative of having longer walks on some Wednesdays has proved successful. Ray D Thursday walks

Until December, which was phenomenal to say the least, we have been extremely lucky with the weather contributing to us enjoying many glorious walks. Leicestershire, I’m sure you will agree, really is a surprisingly beautiful county. Our Numbers rarely fell below 10 and quite often considerably exceeded that total. The Leadership is widely shared amongst the members. We have tried to spread our walks over many parts of Leicestershire and, on one or two occasions, into Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire and this has enabled us to enjoy a broad cross-section of the area. However, with petrol prices rising, our wings may well be partially clipped in the future! You may or may not be interested to know that all of us from the Thursday group who embarked on the Leicestershire Round last year successfully completed the venture and are soon to start on the Ivanhoe Way. Here’s to another joyful year of walking to you all. Judy P-A. Saturday walks

The Saturday walks have been well supported during the last six months. Our numbers have improved with up to 15 walkers taking part. During the Summer we joined up with the Loughborough Ramblers and enjoyed excellent walks in all four corners of the county. On the 9th July 2011 there will be a short walk organised for the 125th anniversary of the LFA. Our walks vary in length from 5.5 to 10 miles so there is something for everyone. Vanessa M October Weekend

Sixteen members were present at Makenley Hall Hotel, Derbyshire for the October weekend, Friday 8th to Sunday 10th. Two walks were arranged. Saturday was fine for the eight mile walk which took us through Belper, taking time to enjoy the scenery. After a leisurely lunch break we wound our way down from a high ridge back to Makenley. Dinner at night was excellent. Sunday dawned bright with some sunshine and a six mile walk from the hotel was accomplished with some effort, it being quite hilly. Everyone expressed satisfaction with the arrangements and enquiries about 2011 were made. I will try to satisfy these expectations. Tim W In Memoriam

It is with great sadness that we have received news that Ken Wadd, our oldest walking member has died. We have felt honoured to have his support over such a long time and pleased that he was able to join us for a couple of fields on Saturday walks until very recently, in his 94th year. We have shared his and Kath’s landmark wedding anniversaries and birthday celebrations over the years when they were in their 70s, 80s, and 90s and it has become an established LFA tradition to be greeted on walks with a ‘Wadds Special’ portable birthday and wedding anniversary picnic. We shall miss him and send our condolences to Kath, Martin and Madeleine.

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held at the Evangelical Baptist Church, Woodhouse Eaves at 10.15 am on Saturday February 28th, 2010.

 Seventy four people attended the meeting and apologies had been received from at least 15 members. Heather welcomed everyone. She explained that the agenda had been altered so that Andrew Poole would be speaking at the end of the meeting. She also explained that she would be leading a short walk after lunch and invited everyone to join in even if they only completed the first section.  Our Chairman Peter Butt then welcomed everyone and said how much he had enjoyed his second year in office. The Minutes of the last AGM, which had been circulated by inclusion at the back of the Annual Report, were accepted as a true record of the meeting and there were no matters arising from these minutes.  All four Officers then spoke to underline the comments that they had made in their published reports in the Annual Report 2010. Jane D explained that she had produced an amended balance sheet as the one printed in the Report was not correct. This was due to Jane making adjustments concerning the recording of National Savings Bank interest received in 2009 of £204.56p, donation to LCC for waymarking (£300) and (£1500) transferred to Nat. Savings Bank Account. Thanks were made to all the people who organise and arranged the walks and put the programme together.  As all the Officers had agreed to stand again a block vote was taken and all were re-elected. Our Chairman reminded the meeting that under the terms of our constitution he only has one more year to serve and we need to think about his successor. No one has come for ward to fill the vacant post of Social Secretary and we are still hoping to fill this post. No other new committee members were proposed.  It was agreed that the Association would continue to subscribe to Ramblers, Open Spaces and the Woodland Trust and that we would make our contribution to the Air Ambulance a regular one too.  A.O.B. There was a discussion about procedure in the event of bad weather. Some people felt that there should be a more definite plan of action if there is ice and snow on the morning of the walk. It was explained that a walk leader should make his own decision about cancelling if he felt walking (and driving) would be inadvisable. The groups do seem to be too large for any kind of telephone chain to be set up, although the Thursday group are all linked by email. It is really up to each individual to do what he feels is best in the circumstances.

There was a question from the floor about why we had such a large bank balance and this was answered by Heather’s report on the progress of her book. Although we had hoped that this would be ready by Easter this does not seem likely. Much progress has been made however and the main work now is being done by County Hall adding the maps and highlighting the routes and inserting references to the text. We will be spending about £5000 for 3000 copies and are now looking for someone who can handle the sales and money possibly with the help of a sub-committee. A price will need to be decided upon which will cover our expenditure remembering that we are a non profit making association.

John J has arranged a coach ramble for August 3rd 2010 to the Malvern Hills. The formal part of the meeting closed at 11 am and the next hour was taken up with a most informative and interesting presentation by Andrew Poole from the Leicestershire County Council. This was a very detailed report about the changes which he is proposing to be able to make to the Leicestershire Round. He has been working closely with the LFA Committee and this was the first time that these proposals have been made public. Lunch followed at 12 and Andrew made himself available then and at the walk in the afternoon for individual discussions with members on the suggested improvements to the Leicestershire Round. The morning closed with thanks to everyone who had been involved in the organisation of an excellent meeting.


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