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Footpaths

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Image: Wiki

The National CV pointed us to footpaths:

". . .the British landscape is ‘veined’ with such paths, foreshadowing our modern-day road network. These old ways go by different names depending on their region and their purpose: holloways, green lanes, drove-roads, coffin routes, herepaths, lichways, carneys, causeways, trods, sarns...which together form a network of rights of way more than 130,000 miles...in length in England and Wales alone. The maintenance of that footpath system is one of our greatest cultural achievements. . ." (Robert Macfarlane, author of The Old Ways: A Journey On Foot, 2012, writing in The National Trust Magazine, Autumn)

The footpaths crisscrossing Hampshire remain marvellous to me. They go everywhere - across meadows through churchyards, up into the woods, over bridges - ancient ways wandering over private lands, preserving the free journeys made by men and women for thousands of years. For thousands of years to come?

As Spencer wrote, 'I follow here the footing of thy feete. . .'

The rivers and streams are footpaths, too, though today, in the wind and rain, they're taken only by swans. . .

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