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kernowclimber
2011-03-04 10:49:27
The Annalong Track: A ReBUFTal of works?
I have been watching the exchange over path maintenance in the Mournes between Bleck Cra and Maclimber with interest. I’m surprised that others haven’t gotten involved in this delightful bun-fight as it must surely elicit strong sentiments among our membership? I have some reservations about intervention on our hills; the guidelines of the British Upland Footpath Trust (BUFT) related to Upland Path Erosion are therefore of interest:

Repairs are necessary to prevent or ameliorate visual intrusion and environmental damage.
Works should be of a high standard of design and implementation using indigenous materials, sympathetic in colour and texture to the immediate surrounding area.
Techniques used should protect existing vegetation and, normally, only locally occurring plant species should be used in restoration.
The more remote the path, the more stringently the criteria for path repairs should be applied.
Repaired paths should be suitable to the route’s use and constructed on a scale appropriate for the intended use as a footpath, bridleway or byway.
Before any repair is agreed the question should be asked, “is there a better solution?”
The use of waymarks, cairns or other intrusive features, other than those traditionally established on summits and path junctions, will be discouraged.
A sustained commitment of resources to path management will be sought, so that small-scale continuous maintenance can replace infrequent, major repairs as the normal method of path management.

At a 2005 conference this body stated their objective of broadening their activities to include Ireland. Et Voila! The immediate assumption is that walkers' trails are intrusive: they ‘scar’ the landscape, damage the environment. Yet to suggest that our hills are wild and unspoilt is a lame argument. They have had discernable trails since antiquity, are often intensively farmed and it is argued that sheep do more damage than walkers, making myriad paths in all directions. Their excrement damages the soil and their presence stifles biodiversity. But hill-walkers are told to ‘leave no trace!’ Most of us accept the presence of livestock; man has been farming our hills for eons. And we have been walking them just as long.

It is obvious that many ‘engineered’ paths in the UK are not working judging by the new trails creeping up alongside them. The stepped route up Scafell Pike in the Lake District is one such path, lethal when wet. The stones are slippery and angled downwards. You leave it at every given opportunity. Whilst I appreciate the argument that more people are taking to our hills and the paths are seeing more traffic, any intervention has to be ‘of an appropriate scale’. Cra posits that the question of ‘a better solution’ for the Annalong track was not thoroughly discussed. Is this so? The work does seem to be rather drastic.


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Track
Arona to Parador Hotel via Valle de Ucanca
GSheehy 5 hours ago.
Sticking the boots in the bag, when the intention was to go and have a rest. Justifying a walk, that?s predominantly a walk, Len: 30.8km, Climb: 2274m, Area: Spain, Canary Islands ()

  
Summit Summary
Slieve Main: Inishowen's second mountain.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 a day ago.
Parking in a small quarry 3km to the east at point C444 372, cross the smaller top of Damph and then head north, curving around the valley until you cross a fence at C425 380 then begin to ascend ...

  
Track
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simon3 a day ago.
This linear walk route starts from the north and includes the two Arderins and one Vandeleur-Lynam in the area. It sta... walk, Len: 9.3km, Climb: 515m, Area: Slieve Snaght, Inishowen (Ireland) Sliev

Summit Comment
Castlemahon Mountain: My outing to Castlemahon summit.
Ulsterpooka 4 days ago.
I followed Peter Walkers route and asked permission to walk to the summit mast. The person was very friendly and accommodating. I parked at the last house in what is a four house dwelling lane. Th...

  
Summit Comment
Caoinkeen South-East Top: Caoinkeen
davsheen 6 days ago.
View of Caoinkeen from Gougane Barra Horseshoe walk

  
Track
Cruach Eoghanach
Peter Walker 2 days ago.
Cruach Eoghanach is a handy outing on the days when you get out of the car, feel the force of the wind and rain, look... walk, Len: 10.4km, Climb: 329m, Area: Cruach Eoghanach, S Donegal/W Tyrone (Ir

Bibliography
High Mountains of Britain and Ireland, The by Butterfield, Irvine
Peter Walker 3 days ago.
Long out of print, but well worth seeking out by the serious hillwalker (especially if they visit Britain as well as Ireland), this is a gloriously impractical guide to all of the 3000ft mountains...

  
Summit Comment
Knockatee: October Cahas Walk
davsheen 6 days ago.
View over Kenmare Bay from Knockatee Summit Co. Kerry

  
Track
Pics de Batoua
David-Guenot 4 days ago.
walk, Len: 18.3km, Climb: 1672m, Area: France, Occitanie ()

Summit Summary
Mullagh More: Iconic hill with waymarked ways.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 6 days ago.
There is a way marked route up this iconic mountain. To get to the start drive out of Corofin in the direction of Kilfenora. After less than 2 miles turn right at a sign for 'Kilnaboy Church and S...

  
Track
Amalfi: Ravello to Minori
Onzy 5 days ago.
walk, Len: 3.5km, Climb: 12m, Area: Italy, Campania ()

  
Forum: General
Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder
CaptainVertigo 5 days ago.
I did my last walk in April and between work and family have not been out since.. I feel my absence from the mountains like a dull ache, a loss, a bereavement. Meanwhile everyone tells me that I a...


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