As the Parish Path Warden (PPW) for South Littleton, North & Middle Littleton and Cleeve Prior, I would definitely recommend anyone who has a few hours of spare time a week, has an interest in the countryside and enjoys walking to give consideration to volunteering as a PPW.
I personally find the role very enjoyable. The inspection and clearance of footpaths provides me with plenty of exercise and fresh air, and I feel that my health has improved as a result. I am making a contribution to the local community and, from comments received from parishioners, fellow walkers and members of the Parish Councils, I know that my efforts are appreciated.
I have built up a good working relationship with many of the landowners in my area, most of whom are willing to help me improve both the conditions of the paths and way-marking.
I now have a considerable number of voluntary helpers, who are prepared to spend a few hours of their time with clearing paths, replacing stiles and gates, and installing way-mark posts and footbridges. These volunteer working parties have become enjoyable social events!
The improvements that have been made to the footpath network have enabled me to devise a series of walks to be publicised locally. Hopefully, people will be inspired to get out and walk the paths in this area.
The Worcestershire County Council Public Rights of Way Team now relies on PPWs to carry out most of the routine inspection and general maintenance of paths in the county. Sadly, many of the parishes do not have an active volunteer PPW.
If volunteering as a PPW appeals to you, contact Alice Deans (Public Rights of Way Team) ADeans@worcestershire.gov.uk or telephone 01905 845617
If you just want to help on an ad hoc basis, I am always glad of an extra pair of hands!
(ERC Footpath Secretary)