We have appointed Barry Thomas, of Melbourne, south of Derby, as our local correspondent for South Derbyshire.
Barry will be our eyes and ears in this area, keeping a close watch on the state of the paths and reporting any problems to Derbyshire County Council, the highway authority.
Barry is a retired Derby teacher, where he taught at Landau Forte College for 17 years. He has been a walker for many more years and has written the routes for various walks books.
Says Barry: ‘South Derbyshire has a varied network of paths which is in a reasonable condition. However, we have been without a footpaths officer for some months and I feel the network is suffering.
‘I spend one day a week walking my local paths and reporting the problems to the county council. I find that contacting the parish councils helps to keep the pressure on the county council.
‘I shall be responding on behalf of the society to applications to alter the routes of paths, objecting where there is no public benefit in the proposal. Our paths are our heritage and should not be shifted just to suit the whim of landowners.’
Adds our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook: ‘We are delighted to have Barry on board. It will enable us to have a significant presence in South Derbyshire defending paths and open spaces and promoting the society’s vital work.’