Forty-one footpaths have been surveyed, with a total length of 12.75
miles. The condition of the surfaces varied from Tarred Macadam and
Blue Bricks to beaten tracks over ploughed fields; with one
exception there were no signs indicating the existence of Public
Footpaths. Many of the paths had been diverted or closed altogether,
some officially, other without any reference to official procedure.
The City Council have, in some instances, granted Planning Permission
and permitted development to take place before diversions or closures
had been applied for and, in many cases, the public has been put to
As stated in the interim report, submitted to the meeting on 22nd
February last, the survey work was divided into four sub-groups (i.e.
North, South, East and West) and the reports of these sections are
summarised as follows. The numbers refer to the paths indicated on
the official map prepared by the County Council under the Access to
the Countryside Act and each group was supplied with a map and
pro-forma report sheet.
- Northern Group (14 paths totalling 4 miles)
Path No. 1 - from St Chad's Road to Bishop's Walk
This path is in good condition apart from a short length at the St
Chad's Road end, which is muddy and slippery in wet weather.
Path No. 2 - from St Chad's Road to Path No. 1
This is in reasonable condition, apart from a few patches where the
macadam surface requires repair. The barrier to deter cyclists from
using the path is very difficult for persons with perambulators to
Path No. 3 - from Gaia Lane to Path No.1
This footpath runs across the Theological [College] Playing fields
and has been disused for a considerable time. No action is
recommended to restore this.
Path No. 4 - from Gaia Lone to Wheel Lane (The Windings)
The northernmost end of this path has been diverted for residential
development. There are several overhanging trees and hedges which
interfere with the free passage of pedestrians and, as Cycling is not
officially prohibited along this path, a barrier is recommended at
the Gaia Lane end.
Path No. 5 - from Dimbles Hill to Gaia Lane
The path is badly overgrown and needs attention to the hedges and the
clearance of deposited rubbish.
Path No. 6 - from Dimbles Hill to Beacon Street (near the Little
This footpath is very indefinite where development has taken place at
the Leasowe and an official diversion will, no doubt, be required
when the development of this area is carried out. This must be
Path No. 7 - Dimbles Lane
This path, formerly Dimbles Lane, has now been diverted to follow the
new road and has already been made up along this section. At the
northern end, considerable tipping has taken place but, for many
years, this path has been considerably overgrown and is boggy at the
City boundary, being impassable for the ordinary user. Some of the
material tipped here has been offensive but has been recently covered
and the path is now in far better condition than for the past 30
years. Where the tipping ends, the material should be sloped to give
an easy access from the higher ground where tipping has taken place.
Path No. 30 - from Grange Lane to Stafford Road (South of Nearfield
Apart from approximately 80 yds at the Grange Lane end, this path is
in bad condition, having been obstructed by timber and a broken down
lorry, old tractor etc., and the hedges have overgrown the path
making it necessary for pedestrians to make their own diversion.
This path should be cleared frequently.
Path No. 31 - from Wheel Lane to Path No. 30
When this path was surveyed in October 1961 it traversed through
fields and was very difficult to follow. Since then development has
taken place and an official diversion order applied for. The path
will follow the estate streets.
Path No. 32 - from Bird Street to The Friary
This path passes between business premises and, apart from a few
uneven bricks in the surface at the Bird Street end, is in reasonable
condition. Access is obtained from this path to the rear of premises
in Bird Street and Sandford Street. It is much used and is in need
of occasional scavenging.
Path No. 33 - from Sandford Street to Path 32
This is in reasonable condition.
Path No. ?? - Bishop's Walk (Not shown on the official map)
The surface here is in good condition but, at the time of the survey,
the hedges were overgrown and nettles and weeds in the hedge bottom
required attention. This path suffers considerably from the
deposition of litter and litter bins placed at strategical points
along this path might overcome this problem.
- Southern Group (Nine paths having a total length of 2.86 miles)
Path No. 14 - from Cherry Orchard to Boley (sic)
At the Cherry Orchard end this path runs between two properties and
is only five feet wide; it is impassable owing to the hedges being
overgrown. Housing development has taken place on the central
section of the path and an official diversion made. The path could
have been diverted with advantage at the Cherry Orchard end as there
is no evidence of use along the first 120 yds.
Path No. 15 - from Cherry Orchard to Station Road (Frenchman's
This is much used and in good condition, apart from weeds in the
hedge bottom. These are attended to at intervals by the City
Path No. 16 - from Cherry Orchard to Borrowcop Lane
Building development has taken place at both ends of this path and
applications have been made for official diversions. At the Cherry
Orchard end the path was obstructed for some two years before an
application was made for the diversion and considerable inconvenience
was thereby caused to the public. The path has now been diverted
along the street and between two houses where one appears to be
walking along a private drive. This is a clear case for a footpath
direction sign. A length of approximately 130 yds of the path is
very badly overgrown and obstructed, pedestrians having used the
adjacent field. The original footpath should be freed from
obstruction and brought back into use again.
Path No. 17 - from Path No. 16 to Borrowcop Hill
This path has been officially diverted round King's Hill School Playing
fields. The original length was 250 yds and the diversion is 350 yds.
The surface of the [new] path should be properly made up and levelled
with some suitable material.
Path No. 18 - from Path 16 to the end of Borrowcop Lane
This path has been made up for some 300 yds, with carriageway and
footpath to King's Hill School, and for a further 240 yds has been
made up with ashes and is in good condition, the remainder being of
Path No. 19 - from Beech gardens to Borrowcop Hill
This path has been diverted around the Grammar School Playing Fields,
and the site for King's Hill School; the length being increased from
400 yds to 910 yds. The path around the playing fields has been made
up with ashes and is in good condition but the diversion near King's
Hill School to Borrowcop Lane is in a dangerous condition and needs
to be made up satisfactorily. The style at the Beech Gardens end
requires a new tread. The diversions are official in this case, but
are rather extensive and any future diversions of this nature should
be watched by the Society.
Path No. 20 - from the City boundary to London Road (near Freeford
There is no evidence of use.
Path No. 21 - from the City boundary to Birmingham Road (near
This path runs over fields and no difficulties were encountered apart
from growing crops.
Path No. 37 - from Walsall Road to the City boundary at Pipe Grange
The path runs through fields and was unobstructed apart from the
opening in the fence where barbed wire was placed across to prevent
straying of cattle. The wire moved easily, but observation should be
kept on such obstructions to prevent them becoming permanent.
- Eastern Group (Eight paths having a total length of two miles)
Path No. 8 - from Netherstowe over the railway bridge
The path virtually follows the line indicated on the map and was
obstructed at one fence by barbed wire; apart from this it is a
Path No. 9 - Footbridge over the Railway Line
This was in good condition.
Path No. 10 - from Brownfields Road to the Railway bridge
This path has been diverted by official order for industrial and
housing development. The length from the new road to the railway
bridge should be indicated.
Path No. 11 - from Trent Valley Road to St Michael Road.
This path was in satisfactory condition, but a considerable amount of
rubbish was deposited by tenants of the Housing Estate.
Path No. 12 - from Trent Valley Road to Burton Old Road (Sheriff's
This path was in satisfactory condition.
Path No. 13 - from Sturgeons Hill to Burton Old Road
This path crosses fields and a rough cart track, and is in a
Path No. 34 - by St Michael's Churchyard
This path was in satisfactory condition.
Path No. 40 - from Trent Valley Road to the City boundary (Sheriff's
This path has been officially diverted by the City Council, along the
roads of the new industrial estate. Whilst the route is commodious,
it is not so pleasant.
- Western Group (Eleven paths having a total length of 3.75 miles)
Path No. 22 - from The Friary to Walsall Road (near Trunkfields)
This path leaves the Friary between two houses through what appears
to be a private garden. Efforts have been made by the owners from
time to time to discourage the public from using this path. This is
one of the remaining walks in the City through fields, and at one
time there was a suggestion to divert it to run alongside the brook.
This suggestion is worthy of renewed consideration.
Path No. 23 - from Christchurch Lane (western end) to Leomansley
This path is a bridle way for most of the way and is in satisfactory
Path No. 24 - from Christchurh Lane (near Church) to the Abnalls
This path was severed by the by-pass and is in satisfactory
Path No. 25 - from Path No. 28 to Leomansley Cottages
This was also severed by the by-pass where care must be taken,
otherwise it is free from major obstructions and is a very pleasant
walk. The stiles need improvement.
Path No. 26 - from Abnalls Lane (by Maple Lodge) to Leomansley
This path is swampy in places but free from obstruction and joins
Path No. 25 near the cottages where an unofficial diversion has bee
indicated. This has evidently been done by the owner to divert
pedestrians from passing the cottages and, as the diversion seems
more convenient, no objection could be raised apart from the
illegality of the action.
Path No. 27 - a link between Path No. 25 and Path No. 26
Although this path is swampy, there is no artificial barrier.
Path No. 28 - from Beacon Street (Shaw Lane) to Abnalls Lane
This path is well used and is in fair condition. There is only one
stile on this footpath and this could be made more convenient. There
have been two official diversions by the fence at the rear of
Chamberlain & Hill's foundry.
Path No. 29 - from Abnalls Lane (near Beacon Street) to 250 yds East
of Maple Lodge
This path was severed by the by-pass and no stiles were erected.
There is no evidence of a path on the site, which is now being
developed. The owner states that he was unaware of the existence of
a footpath when the site was acquired and a Planning Applications was
made. The existence of this path should have been revealed by the
Path No. 36 - from The Friary (near the Victoria Hospital) to
This path is satisfactory.
Path No. 38 - from Abnalls Lane to Cross in Hand Lane
This path is indefinite and has no sign of use. There is a poor
stile at the Abnalls Lane end and at Cross in Hand Lane the stile was
broken, and obstructed, but there was an easily opened adjacent gate.
Path No. 39 - from Christchurch Lane to Leomansley Mill Farm
This is a single line track in places. The hedges near the school
are badly overgrown and need attention. There are three stiles on
this path, two of which are broken. There was evidence of a well worn
track except where the field had been recently ploughed. (Note:
since the survey was made this path has been obstructed by building
operations. The Council's attention should be drawn to this as there
is apparently no application for an official diversion).
This report can only be taken on the conditions at the time of our
survey. If the Society is to be effective there will have to be
periodic regular inspections and the attention of the Local
Authority should be drawn to any flagrant infringements, such have
taken place recently. Development is bound to affect some of the
paths but proper action must be taken by developers before work takes
place in order that the public may be given adequate opportunity to
The Group recommends that the Society should draw the attention of
the City Council to the obstructions which have been found and
request that they ensure that developers are not permitted to
obstruct, divert or stop up public footpaths until after a formal
application has been made.
Whilst the Society may continue to inspect the paths from time to
time, the City Council should see that they are kept reasonably clear
of obstructions, such as overhanging hedges weeds, broken stiles and
gates by serving notice on the adjacent owners. Also, it is
recommended that where diversions have been authorised the surface of
the path should be constructed of some durable material according to
the use of the path, and the position of the path indicated by
standard signs if possible stating the destination to which the path
The Group considers that the City Council should be requested to erect
lamps on Path No. 4 (The Windings) and that constant attention should
be given to the sweeping of leaves in the Autumn.
Footpaths Study Group
November 14th, 1962