Enjoying walks safely in East Farndon and broader Northamptonshire

We are very fortunate to have a number of beautiful walks on our doorsteps within East Farndon and the broader Northamptonshire and Leicestershire countryside.

The walking in England website https://www.walkinginengland.co.uk/northants has loads of walks to download and print for free. It also has books of walks, details of all the walking groups in the county and much more. Whether you want to walk on your own or with a group, all the information is there in one place. John Harris (who maintains the website) said ‘There is so much walking information on the web but it is difficult to find. Walking in Northamptonshire (part of the Walking in England website) has brought it together in one place so whether you are walking from home, or away on holiday, you will be able to find a walk suitable for you’.

East Farndon Parish Council has a dedicated page on this website for our footpaths. From this page you can access our special Jubilee walks booklet that can be downloaded and printed for free. This page also contains really important guidance on how to walk safely on East Farndon footpaths and in the broader countryside. This safety guidance is also repeated below.

Visit our dedicated footpath page by clicking this link: https://eastfarndon.org/parish-council-footpaths/

Walking Safely on East Farndon Footpaths

Many of the fields around East Farndon have ‘right of way’ footpaths that allow walkers and ramblers to pass through without damaging crops or disturbing grazing animals. This creates a relative harmony that for most of the year causes very few problems. It is important to remember however that this is a working environment for farm staff, and visitors should remain vigilant of animals, machinery and vehicles. These footpaths are signposted and clearly marked as official routes, so to avoid unnecessary upset, it is best to keep to the marked walkways.

Be vigilant, especially on entering a field or where you cannot see the whole field, and try to stay away from animals and to be aware of their movements. In the spring, it is especially important to be sympathetic to farm animals rearing their young and give them space.

Cows are naturally very protective of their young and have been known, on occasions, to charge at walkers. On very rare instances this has led to serious or fatal injuries to those involved. Although right of way footpaths may exist through fields with grazing cattle, sometimes it’s better to take the longer route and admire the herd from a distance rather than risk potential conflict. 

Dogs are recommended to be on a lead at all times even if their temperament is good. Cows will do whatever they feel necessary to protect their young and as calves are playful and inquisitive, they will often wander away from their mothers to explore their surroundings. The arrival of a dog nearby may be cause for alarm.

When walking with dogs in fields with cattle, the advice from the NFU is to “avoid getting between cows and their calves; to keep your dog under close and effective control on a lead around cows and sheep, but not to hang onto your dog if you are threatened by cattle – let it go and allow the dog to run to safety. This offers the best chance of a safe outcome to both you and your dog. If you feel threatened by animals protecting their territory or young, do not run. Move to the edge of the field and, if possible, find another way round.”

East Farndon Parish Council has a dedicated Footpath Warden, who, in partnership with the farm landowners, keep an eye on the upkeep and maintenance of our footpaths, including those through farmland. If you spot a problem – maybe an obstruction on the path or damage to a stile – please contact East Farndon Parish Council. They will then investigate, and if necessary, notify the relevant landowner and / or West Northamptonshire Council (who have responsibility for footpaths). To do this, please email the Parish Clerk at: parishclerk.eastfarndon@gmail.com

The Countryside is there for us all to enjoy and admire throughout the year, but it comes with a responsibility that we all share to make it accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

For more information about livestock and rights of way visit: https://www.nfuonline.com/cross-sector/rural-affairs/access/access-news/livestock-and-rights-of-way-reducing-the-risk/

The Countryside code: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/985422/Summary-Countryside-Code-A5.pdf

Guide to farming Calendar: https://www.countryfile.com/wildlife/farming-calendar-a-year-in-the-life-of-a-british-farmer/