Hodnet Footpath Group

Hodnet Footpath Group Walk 3 April 2016

Who are we?

We are a friendly (mixed sex/age), group of people who enjoy walking (country strolls rather than major cross country hikes/rambles !) but who are also focussed on helping to maintain/repair our local paths.

We came together as a result of the 2009/10 Parish Plan, and formed our group to help promote use of our local footpaths – essentially by making them both better known and easier to use. To that end, as well as working with Shropshire Council (as one of their official Parish Path Partnership ‘P3’ groups) and local landowners to improve access to/maintenance of our local paths, we also organise several group walks each year – accompanied children and dogs (on leads) always welcome on our walks.

You can join our group in full (attend meetings and work parties, etc.) or enrol as a ‘friend’ (i.e. be e-mailed information on our group walks). Either way, ‘membership’ is free.

For more details contact:

Chairman: Richard Underwood Tel 01630 685286

Secretary: David Wilson Tel 01630 685305 or email

You can follow us on Facebook too.

Download our latest information as PDF files:

What do we do/What have we done?

Although we are fairly few in number, we think we have achieved quite a lot – as summarised below. That said, we’d welcome any extra help, so don’t leave it to others – do get in touch. No great skills are required to become involved, just enthusiasm and a friendly spirit.

Path Repairs

We’ve improved the way-marking of all the local paths, and some further afield too – e.g. those heading towards Fauls, and also improved many stiles – but the more help we have, the more we can do!

When it comes to stiles, the photos below show some of our ‘before’ and ‘after’ work, first at a stile in Wollerton, then one at Hodnet, where we also wanted to improve access for dogs.


We have also produced ten local walk leaflets, plus a leaflet contianing general information and a brief summary of all our walks.  Hardcopies are available from Hodnet’s Village Store, the Bear Hotel and the Hodnet Medical Centre plus other local outlets – including Market Drayton’s Tourist Information Centre. You can also download copies from the Local Walk Leaflet page in this website’s Tourism section.

New Paths

Our ‘big project’ was undoubtedly working with Shropshire Council/Hodnet Parish Council and a local landowner to help create a permissive footpath between Hodnet and Marchamley. Community support for this seemed strong, as evidenced by the results of the Parish Plan exercise of a few years ago, and a specific Parish Council questionnaire on this matter issued at the end of 2011.

The path opened in March 2013, and brief details plus its route can be viewed here. A video of the opening ceremony is available on this page.

In view of the benefits this path brings to Marchamley resident’s in particularly, we’d especially welcome anyone from there who wishes to join our group to at least help ‘keep an eye on things’ from that end of our community.

We have also played a part in the work of (re)establishing legal access to the Wollerton Wetlands from Wollerton and in encouraging Shrophsire Council to maintain it – use this link for more information.

New Kit 2016

After the path from Websters farm to the Espley roudnabout was cleared for us by the Shropshire Council’s Outdoor Recreation team in 2016, see separate post, they suggested we accept an offer of a free strimmer/bushcutter to help us maintain it, and other local paths, in future. Many Thanks SC.

HFG’s new strimmer/bushcutter kit.

Where can I walk?

Shropshire Council have a great interactive map on their website, which contains a side menu allowing users to mark their location and add details such as all (or different types of) rights of way, lanes, council boundaries, and all sorts of other useful information. You can access it via this LINK

They also have webpages dedicated to Countryside Access and Rights of Way, see HERE and a page about P3 schemes too. plus much more……

Local walking groups

From time to time we receive enquiries from people looking for a local walking group. Requirements as to location, length, suitable time of the week etc. all vary enormously, so we have compiled a list of some regular activities in N. Shropshire and hope it will prove a useful starter for your investigations. It can be downloaded here. (Information correct to the best of our knowledge in March 2015.)

Dog Walkers

Many people who use country paths do so to walk their dogs, and without them many paths would be much harder to use/follow. However, irresponsible dog ownership can cause problems. See this website post from 2016.

Only 7 years to go to 2025 = PROW DEADLINE

Current legislation states that the end of 2025 is the last date any path not currently shown on Shropshire Council’s  ‘definitive map’, as a public right of way (PROW), can be claimed as such – subject to the usual legal process. So if you know of a local path that you feel has been in use for at least 20 continuous years (without landowner challenge) now is perhaps the time to alert us, or Shropshire Council’s Outdoor Recreation team, to it – as once 2025 passes there will be no mechanism for it ever to be claimed as a legal right of way!