Milverton, Somerset

On becoming a footpath adopter

I think Geoff and I have become a bit of a village institution on our daily walks. We have tramped the footpaths in and around Milverton during lockdown and before and what a lot of pleasure they have brought us. We go out whatever the weather and have slipped and sloshed our way across many a soggy footpath. But the footpath alongside the woodyard defeated us. It was so muddy and too much for our walking boots. I wrote to the Parish Council in March 2021 asking if we could help form a task force to try some clever engineering to drain the path. Anita, the Parish Path Liaison Officer, called me as a result and assured me things were in hand to try and improve the footpath’s surface.

While we were chatting she suggested I might like to adopt a footpath. She pointed me in the right direction and off I went to investigate. I found the Somerset Volunteering webpage and followed the instructions. I was contacted by Martin Cooper the Rights of Way Volunteer and Trails Officer at Somerset County Council. He sent me a map of all the footpaths in Somerset and a list of those that hadn’t been adopted. I chose four local paths to adopt, those we walk regularly and know well, one of them right outside our back gate. The tasks as a volunteer are not onerous; light pruning around stiles and signposts if required, reporting any problems on the path and keeping a record of the number of hours spent doing it. At time of writing we have been on one foray and have done some pruning and made a note of a couple of problems. It took very little time and did not spoil our enjoyment of the walk.

There are still many local paths to adopt. If you would like to sign up just search ‘Somerset footpath volunteer or contact Martin on Adopting a footpath is such a simple thing to do. It gives us great pleasure to know we are putting something back into the countryside in repayment for all the pleasure it has brought us over the last year and before.