Thursday, 7 August 2008

Byways, pinks and purples

This lane not far from home cuts through the countryside for about a mile and a half in a completely straight line. It is a byway and it follows the course of an old Roman road. A few years ago I tried to walk along it and it was impassable being very boggy and rutted. Now it has been surfaced, (though probably not to the standard of the Romans) and it is easily accessible.

I have mixed feelings about paths like this being opened up and surfaced. Its great that it makes it accessible to more people but this path is a byway which means that it is legal to drive along it. While we were walking we only saw one jeep type vehicle and one motor cycle and both were travelling relatively slowly but I do know of other byways where the tracks have been almost destroyed by racing vehicles and once again they become impassable for walkers. The other side of the argument is that unless these paths are used then they will become overgrown and unusable once again so any method of keeping them open, walkers, horses, bikes or vehicles is a good thing.

There is a network of footpaths, bridleways and byways throughout the country and if rising fuel prices force us to make more of our journeys by foot we might find them increasingly useful as the old paths are often shorter and more direct routes between villages than travelling by roads.

Our walk was very peaceful. Everything was very leafy and green. At first glance there didn't seem to be much colour or any wild flowers. As we walked I did spot many flowers and it was then that I noticed that on this particular path they all seemed to be pink or purple. I've never noticed that before. Here are some of them.




hogweed seedheads




Heather L. said...

What a lovely place for a walk, although I think that's kind of too bad that people can drive on it!

Simply Authentic said...

This posting reminds me of one of my favorite things about England...the immense history that is present there. The fact that within walking distance of your house there is a lane that once was walked by the Romans is incredible!