Footpaths, bridleways and cycle routes
Our parishes are crossed by a number of footpaths, tracks and roads. Of these only one is a bridleway and the rest are public highways, private tracks to farms and houses or footpaths. Traditionally, footpaths were used by people to walk from place to place by the shortest convenient route. For example, in Hatherton and Walgherton there is one more or less continuous path from the boundary with Austerson (on the other side of the River Weaver) past the Methodist Chapel on Audlem road, past Oat Eddish Farm, across the London Road and on to Bridge Street in Wybunbury. This would have served the residents of Hatherton at the Artle Brook end to walk to Wybunbury. Most paths can be seen to serve a through route but one or two are more mysterious in their origins. Exploring footpaths and trying to understand their purpose is a hobby in its own right. One thing footpaths were never designed to provide were circular routes as we may be looking for on a walking day out but by carefully selecting a route with as little road use as possible, some circular routes are possible in Hatherton and Walgherton.
Bridleways are similar to footpaths in that they are not public highways but as well as pedestrian use, bridleways can be used by horse riders and cyclists and also to lead horses and donkeys. However, they cannot be freely used to lead other animals such as llamas! There is a clear visual explanation in the Countryside Code.
The County Council is responsible for defining footpaths and they have certain functions which they share with landowners. The following is from the Cheshire East website:
The Council's responsibilities include:
- keeping Public Rights of Way clear of undergrowth (i.e. vegetation growing in the surface of the path)
- assisting farmers and landowners with maintenance of stiles and gates;
- signposting Public Rights of Way where they leave the surfaced road;
- waymarking paths to help users find their way; and,
- maintaining most bridges and culverts.
Landowners also have responsibilities regarding paths that cross their land:
- keeping any Public Rights of Way on their land clear of overgrowth (i.e. hedge outgrowth across the path);
- maintaining any stiles and gates which are needed on Public Rights of Way;
- keeping Public Rights of Way free from obstruction - including growing crops;
- not ploughing field edge Public Rights of Way, or any Restricted Byway or Byway Open to All Traffic;
- reinstating cross-field Public Rights of Way after ploughing etc. (in accordance with the Rights of Way Act 1990); and,
- applying for a temporary closure if undertaking any work which may affect a Public Right of Way or endanger its users.
(A Byway Open to All Traffic (BOAT) is a track which is not maintained as a highway, i.e. surfaced, but can be used by horse-drawn and motorised vehicles as well as pedestrians, cyclist and horse riders. Restricted byways allow the same as BOATs except for motor vehicles. There are no BOATs or restricted byways in Hatherton or Walgherton.)
Long distance routes
Two long distance routes pass through the parishes. The South Cheshire Way which uses footpaths 12, 14 and 15 in Hatherton, footpath 3 in Walgherton and bridleway 8 in Walgherton. The Cycleway route 70 passes along Crewe Road.
We plan to make some circular routes that you might wish to walk using the public rights of way. When these have been prepared, they will be published here.
The map below shows most of the footpaths in Hatherton and Walgherton as feint red dotted lines. This is an OpenSource map so cannot be relied on like an Ordnance Survey map. The markers on the map identify the paths which are all listed lower down this page.
This table lists all the public rights of way (PROWs) in Hatherton and Walgherton with their start and end points and which paths they cross.
|Path name||From||To||Connecting with||Features|
|Hatherton FP1||A529 (Chapel Farm)||River Weaver||Austerson FP1||Bridge currently in damaged state|
|Hatherton FP2||A529 (Chapel Farm)||H/W border||H FP3 and W FP9|
|Hatherton FP3||Park Lane (Green Close)||H/W border||H FP2 and W FP9|
|Hatherton FP4||Park Lane (Hatherton Farm)||Crewe Road||H FP5|
|Hatherton FP5||Crewe Rd (nr Chapel)||Park Lane (Rose Cottage)||H FP4|
|Hatherton FP6||Park Lane||Crewe Road||none||Through woods|
|Hatherton FP7||Crewe Rd (corner Lodge Lane)||Hunsterson Road||none|
|Hatherton FP8||Crewe Rd||Hunsterson Road (via Hunsterson FP15)||H FP9, Hunsterson FP15 and H FP12||Past The Laurels and Hatherton Lodge Farm|
|Hatherton FP9||FP12||Hunsterson Road (via FP15)||H FP8, Hunsterson FP15 and H FP12||Follows parish boundary|
|Hatherton FP10||Audlem Road (nr Broomlands entrance)||Hunsterson border||none||There is no PROW on Hunsterson side!|
|Hatherton FP11||Audlem Road (Bridgemere La jnctn)||Birchall Brook||Audlem FP15|
|Hatherton FP12||Hunsterson Road||Hunsterson FP2||H FP8 and H FP9|
|Hatherton FP13||Lodge Lane (nr Wood Farm)||Middle of a field!||none||Path incomplete, should connect with H FP14|
|Hatherton FP14||Hunsterson Road||H/W border||W FP3|
|Hatherton FP15||Audlem Rd (nr Birchall Bridge)||Hankelow border||Hankelow FP5|
|Walgherton FP1||Back Lane||Wybunbury border||Wybunbury FP5|
|Walgherton FP3||London Rd (nr Wispy Hill)||H/W border||H FP14 and should connect with H FP13|
|Walgherton FP4||London Rd (nr Manor Farm)||Husseys Nook||W FP10, W FP9 and W FP5||To get to Crewe Road, use W FP10|
|Walgherton FP5||London Rd (nr Howbeck Bridge)||Near Oat Eddish Farm||W FP4|
|Walgherton FP6||London Rd (ne Thatchers)||Wybunbury border||Wybunbury FP14 and W FP7|
|Walgherton FP7||W FP6||Wybunbury border||Wybunbury FP8 and W FP6|
|Walgherton FP9||Oat Eddish Farm||H/W border||H FP2 and H FP3|
|Walgherton FP10||Crewe Road||Part way along track to Oat Eddish Farm||W FP4|
|Walgherton FP13||Back Lane||Wybunbury border||Wybunbury FP3|
|Walgherton BR8||London Road||Lea Brook||Lea BR6 and Lea FP2|
|Open Access Land||NONE|
|Cycle way route 70||Hankelow A529||Wybunbury||via Crewe Road B5071|
There are unexplained gaps in the table above. Walgherton FP8 is probably the bridleway but FP2, FP11 and FP12 cannot be found.
Natural England has recently released new versions of the Countryside Code. Please feel free to follow this link to a copy of the Countryside Code leaflet.