Tag Archives: Walkers are Welcome

New Routes for Public Use in Dereham

Dereham Walkers are Welcome and The Ramblers (Norfolk) welcome the confirmation of the establishment as rights of way of 6 routes in Dereham, as reported by the Dereham Times and EDP recently.

The 6 routes all lie to the east of Dereham, and are already mostly well established tracks used by farmers and residents in the area, as well as members of the public. This decision now means that all of the routes will be recognised as Restricted Byways, giving the public a legal right to use them. Restricted Byways can be used for walking, cycling, horse riding and carriage driving (ie with a horse and cart). The public cannot use a restricted byway in a mechanically propelled vehicle such as a motorbike or a car.

Our congratulations go to Dereham Town Council, which initiated the process and made the claims, more than 2 years ago. Throughout the process, the Town Council has been supported by The Ramblers (which provided much evidence and comment) and Dereham Walkers are Welcome. The claims, supported by reference to historic records and statements from people who had used the routes over a period of more than 20 years, have progressed through the legal processes needed to evaluate them, resulting in the recent decision. In accordance with the usual procedures for such matters, the decision was made by Heidi Cruickshank of the Planning Inspectorate.

Richard May, Chair of The Ramblers in Norfolk, said “The Ramblers is delighted to see these new routes and has been pleased to have worked closely with the Town Council to get them established. They will form useful additions to our regular programme of walks for existing and new members.”

Ken Hawkins, Chair of Dereham Walkers are Welcome added that this will take the number of public rights of way in the town to 41. In order to celebrate these valuable additions to our rights of way network, Dereham Walkers are Welcome has arranged a ‘New Routes’ walk on Monday 27 August. This walk will explore all of the routes now recognised. (It will also use one additional route which is to be dedicated as a bridleway, and will take the opportunity to call in briefly at Badley Moor Common.) The walk is about 6½ miles long, taking about 2¾ hours. Any walker is welcome: bookings can be made through Ken Hawkins at dtc.fpwarden@talktalk.net or on 07505 426750.

Details of the routes are available at this link – Application Routes.

Local Press Feature Our Work in Clearing Paths

The Dereham Times has published an article featuring the work done by Dereham Walkers are Welcome and the Ramblers in making paths more accessible. It also makes reference to the plaques that have been put up to improve the signage on the route.

Peter James, pictured above in the article, is fast becoming the poster boy for Norfolk Ramblers with all the publicity his path clearance is generating! He helps run numerous path clearance teams where volunteers go out and clear overgrown paths to make them more accessible.

The full text of the article is also available on the EDP’s web-site.

Good News as Dereham is Awarded “Walkers are Welcome” Status


A member of Norfolk Ramblers has been instrumental in helping Dereham become the fourth Norfolk town to gain the coveted “Walkers are Welcome” status. This is an award from the national body which is given to locations which are attractive destinations for walkers with high quality information about the local walks.

The planning for the application started when Ken Hawkins, the area secretary for Norfolk Ramblers and the footpath warden for Dereham Town Council, was able to lead an application to secure funding from Breckland District Council to produce 3,000 copies of a Dereham Walks pack. There were two guided walks for members of the public arranged to show local residents what was available just a short distance away.

It wasn’t just Ken’s hard work which has been important in seeing this endorsement as others including Tim Birt, Neil Cliff, Kate Millbank, Dorothy Sneesby, Martin Sneesby, Sue Rothwell and Jean Stratford all played their parts in driving the process forward. They helped to ensure that sufficient public support was demonstrated as 5% of the town needed to get behind the project, which was 900 Dereham residents. Over 950 signatures were achieved thanks to the committee members and other local institutions.

Richard May, the area chairman of Norfolk Ramblers, said:

“This is great news for walkers living in Dereham and another good reason for visitors to come to the town: we’re all proud of the work that Ken and others have put in to not only getting this proposal off the ground, but also by engaging with local residents.”