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Why the Ramblers Association should come out and fight at Snettisham

November 13, 2013

The Ramblers Association – I refuse to use their silly new name – never ceases to disappoint me!

I sometimes wonder why I’ve bothered to pay the sub for 40+years.

They flatly refuse to send anyone to represent the RA at the forthcoming Snettisham footpath inquiry.

Even their local reps can’t be bothered, or so it seems.

Yet, on coastal access grounds alone, this is probably the most important path inquiry since the Hoogstraten case, or that of the Hensroost Mine track inquiry.

The RA president, on her election, said the RA would be there to support local campaigners – and there are a hell of a lot of them at Snettisham.

Did the office johnnies at the RA’s expensive office on the Embankment even listen to what she said?

Or don’t they agree with her promise?

24 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2013 9:21 am


    This is a case of DO what I say and NOT what I do
    Snettisham Footpath Public Inquiry is about a coastal footpath walked by Ramblers and is part of a published walk by them.
    WHY is it not worthy of The Ramblers attendance?

  2. November 13, 2013 10:19 am

    Perhaps it would be helpful if the RA president and director could go up to Snettisham and talk to the local campaigners and actually see this path for themselves. That is all I ask.

  3. November 13, 2013 11:37 am

    I would add that never in my long years with the RA, holding a number of area and group posts, including area footpaths secretary and footpath officer for two groups, did I fail to support local people fighting to save a path, attending more path inquiries than I suspect many within the movement. I am saddened some officials of the RA think it is okay to do so.

  4. November 13, 2013 11:46 am

    Here is a path where there is overwhelming historical evidence of its status as a right of way. A path that is actually used by RA groups and features in its publications. The RA’s absence from the inquiry will be used by the paths opponents. Would it not be possible, at least, for the RA to make a supportive written submission?

    • Allan JOnes permalink
      November 13, 2013 4:52 pm

      I have filled in an evidence form confirming that I have walked the path since September 1980. I also collected similar forms from two other older ramblers who had also walked the path for years. Why do you not contact us to ask us to give evidence. Do you not have our statements?

      • November 14, 2013 8:57 am

        Alan we do have your forms and we may well ask you to give evidence in the coming months. This does not alter the fact that RA HQ have taken NO interest in the problems here at Snettisham Beach.
        Perhaps you could tell us why the Local Access Forum attached to NCC have also failed to do anything here after being repeated ask to do so!

    • Bob Almey permalink
      November 14, 2013 9:46 am

      It seems that all organisations are not interested in justice and are open to be manipulated. Shame. I thought the RA would fight for truth and justice.

  5. Nirupama burchett permalink
    November 13, 2013 12:10 pm

    The beach footpath is a valuable asset for the whole community. This amenity to which the public has had access for years, must not be allowed to be become private property and the village should be supported by the RA and the RSPB.

  6. Eric Steinacker permalink
    November 13, 2013 2:00 pm

    I have walked this path for some 40 years and my wife has walked some 50+ years.
    There have been 350 or so user evidence forms completed by local people and held by Norfolk County Council supporting the application for this footpath.
    The Ramblers association have published a walk taking the same route as the application route why are they not supporting the application when rambler members have been using it many times over many years?

  7. Tony Carr permalink
    November 13, 2013 2:37 pm

    On face value there appears to be a complicity between the people who want to close this ancient footpath and some staff at Norfolk CC, surely this doesn’t extend to the ramblers?

  8. Mick Thorpe permalink
    November 13, 2013 4:14 pm

    We are saddened that the local Officer for the Ramblers Association (RA) does not feel that the Snettisham beach footpath is worth saving. At the outset of the campaign by the local villagers to keep this historic footpath open we were greatly supported by some members of the RA who were most helpful, attending meetings and filling in the evidence forms. We hate to think that all that hard work and effort will be in vane for the sake of a supportive statement from the RA. We always thought that part of the remit of the RA was to Keep Public Footpaths OPEN !

    Mick & Val Thorpe

  9. Roger richardson permalink
    November 13, 2013 4:38 pm

    There is nothing complicated about this footpath application for a PROW. How the Ramblers Association have been led by the nose by a few selfish people beggars believe!
    The village and beyond fully support this application along with over 1800 people who signed a petition earlier and delivered it to NCC at County Hall.

  10. Roger Richardson permalink
    November 13, 2013 4:51 pm

    There is nothing complicated about this footpath application for a PROW at Snettisham.

    It beggars believe that the Ramblers association could have been led by the nose over this by a few selfish people. There is much support from the village and beyond and a petition was handed into NCC at county hall from 1800 people surely that’s speaks for itself.

  11. Clive Richardson permalink
    November 13, 2013 4:53 pm

    I am disgusted and saddened to learn that the local RA in Norfolk are to lazy (or they own property at Snettisham beach) to go to the inquiry or even support this footpath that people have been using for hundreds of years!

    How can the local RA say that there is only a few individuals that want this as a footpath, it clearly shows from the petition that this is the other way round!

    What is even more shocking is the fact that senior members of the RA are clearly being fobbed off with factually incorrect information.

    One coast for all… What a joke!!!!! Well one coast for all, along as it does not go past my property/ backyard!

    Clearly a full investigation into the local and regional processes of the RA have to be raised.

    Perhaps i could be said the RA are in collusion with the RSPB and Norfolk CC who have all dropped a massive clanger in the way that they have handled this footpath application!

    Come on RA get your act together, before it’s to late.

  12. nicki cross permalink
    November 13, 2013 5:04 pm

    Hang on a minute, what the local RA have claimed is completely wrong!

    More people want the footpath, it’s only a few selfish individuals that do not want it!

    Heads of the RA and the RSPB for that matter should come out of their ivory towers and have a look for them selves.

    Come on RA, support Snettisham footpath.

  13. Eric Langford permalink
    November 13, 2013 5:20 pm

    The Norfolk County Council (NCC) solicitor agreed that the overwhelming evidence, collected and presented by the parish council, clearly justified the beach footpath having a “public right of way” status. Accordingly the NCC made an order for the beach footpath to be designated on the definitive map as a public right of way. A couple of caravan / chalet owners raised an objection, (detail unknown) and NCC have referred the matter to a government planning inspector enquiry.

    There are suspisions of complicity between the NCC and the caravan owners as NCC have stated that they will not support the parish council application before the planning inspector.

    The fact that the Ramblers Assoc.will not support the application beggars belief!
    With no support from the County Council or Ramblers Assoc., the villagers’ chances of convincing the planning inspector on the justification of the footpath as a public right of way are severly compromised.

    Come on Ramblers and help us fight for this footpath right to be a public right of way.

  14. Peter Turtill permalink
    November 14, 2013 8:18 pm

    I do my stuff alone these days. The RA has never attended anything I do and quite frankly I like it that way. I miss the copies of the Footpath mag and the ability to ring up and get advice over the telephone and I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting more support. I don’t know your area as I am from Suffolk and anyhow I have my hands full atm. However this is what I realised; Many of the local Ramblers regarded their position as a Status symbol and wouldn’t question anything the CC done. Many even work for the CC or are pensioners of the CC and their sole interest is in walking where they are welcome. The CC is corrupt as it is not neutral at all. The RoW dept has some real experts but they are being used to help close or divert RoW to enable development the CC supports. The link between the RA and Government and LA and of course SUSTRANS has to be severed if the RA is ever to find it’s previous prestige. There is much more money in building places that pay into the Governments coffers than in carry out it statutory duty. The RA sold out long ago and many experts who had devoted their lives to RoW left in disgust.

    • November 15, 2013 7:49 am

      You have hit the nail on the head with these remarks for sure! The Local Access Forum at NCC, has RoW officers on board amongst others, and have NEVER taken up any request from us at Snettisham for help with Access problems. It seems like they have been told to LEAVE it alone……….

  15. November 14, 2013 11:26 pm

    I am very saddened by all this as my family have owned property at Snettisham Beach since 1956 and I have walked from one end to the other and beyond without hindrance, until recent years when Private signs have appeared and my cheery ‘hello’s’ met with scowls and unnecessary comments. The path has been in existence very many years and been used by many. Snettisham Beach used to be a wonderful relaxing place – a step back in time and everyone was friendly, welcoming and helpful. This dispute has caused a rift between fellow residents which may never heal and I really cannot understand why anyone would wish to stop others enjoying the area. I agree we need the support of The Ramblers AND the NCC and I am disgusted the situation has been allowed to develop to this extent-something is very wrong.

    • Jean Parkes and Mr Fred Parkes permalink
      November 15, 2013 9:29 am

      F.parkes.Snettisham. As a NEWBY to the village of Snettisham, It angers me that this Fiasco has turned Villager against Villager, and for what. The land itself is free Land to walk, ie common land, yet as the human race being so diverse you will always get the odd persons to see a completely different view of things, but only because they will not fully understand what is the grand order of things. We have them in abundance here at Snettisham, and if the truth be known, this will be the finish of any amicable solution to this problem. The area involved will at sometime or another be claimed back by the sea, and I wonder if the objectors to the reasonable proposals that have been discussed will then ask for Compensation for an act of God. Every street they walk in Snettisham is their street, every piece of land they enjoy is free to all in this instance so wake up and give the whole village once again a reason to be thankful for a beatuful parcel of land can be enjoyed by all.

  16. Steve smith permalink
    November 15, 2013 12:32 pm

    I find it hard to believe that for the Ramblers Association to have a campaign “one coast for all” and then pick and choose which parts of the coast they want to support is wrong!

    NIMBY springs to mind here!

  17. Chris Maude permalink
    November 17, 2013 2:07 pm

    The law is on the side of those who want to exercise their rights of access. The Public Order Act can be used against those who harass walkers, and NCC have an obligation to enforce public RoW. Snettisham campaigners – use the law!!!

  18. Maxine Tricker permalink
    November 17, 2013 8:28 pm

    Totally puzzled by this – WHY won’t the Ramblers Assoc. support it ??? It’s just wrong that a very few ‘selfish’ (is that the right word to use ??!!)….can mess things up for so many that simply want to carry on enjoying a walk they have enjoyed for years ! I’m amongst them but have friends that have missed out because of these ‘threatening’ signs.
    Come on RA …. step out and support Snettisham !

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