Hatherton and Walgherton Parish Council

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:

Picture: Footpath in Hough

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.

Suggested routes

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. 

Footpath map

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.

 

Change from street image to aerial view.

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.

Countryside code

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.