Helmdon's Footpaths and Walking Groups
Helmdon's Footpaths - An Introduction
Helmdon enjoys a fantastic network of 44 footpaths and bridleways covering some 31 Kms (20 miles). The Parish Council has appointed a Paths Warden - Roger Miles- who is supported by a Paths Group to maintain, improve and promote our local paths. Their activities include:
- Producing a map of all the local paths in Helmdon and the surrounding parishes using a mixture of satellite photography and OS mapping information
- Publishing 5 Circular Walks leaflets to introduce some of best walking opportunities. These and the map are available on line by following the links on this page or as printed copies from the Paths Warden or the Parish Clerk.
- Organising occasional working parties to improve or clear undergrowth on the most popular village paths
- Working with local landowners, Northamptonshire County Council and other groups to repair or replace stiles and kissing gates or make other improvements and to arrange permissive footpaths in popular areas.
- Offering simple ways of reporting difficulties with footpaths
- Advising on developments which have implications for footpaths and those using them.
Whether you wish to report a problem with a path or would like to join us in maintaining them, please contact us.
Walkers' Rights And Responsibilities
While we are lucky in Helmdon to have an extensive network of public footpaths, which give free access to the wonderful countryside around the village we have to recognise that most of these paths cross working farmland.
Recently some of our local farmers have been troubled by walkers straying off the footpaths, which are the Public Rights of Way, and sometimes leaving gates open so that stock got out of their fields. In one case some young cattle were put at risk of eating inappropriate fodder.
When walking please make use of the footpaths map to show you where you can walk freely to enjoy the countryside and follow the Countryside Code to respect the life and work of the countryside when crossing private farmland. In particular walkers should: "Fasten all gates behind you" and "Keep your dogs under close control".
Helmdon Footpaths Map & Walks Leaflets
Village Footpaths Map
A major Parish Paths group project was the publication of a new village footpath map using aerial photography of Helmdon and surrounding villages. Funded by the Parish Council and the Parish Plan Monitoring Group, the map is available in A4 or A3 versions and shows in detail the precise routes of all footpaths and bridleways both within the village and beyond.
The map was created by Mike Barnes, reproduced with the help of David Powell.
Copies can be viewed on the notice boards and are available free of charge from the Parish Clerk, or the Helmdon Paths Group. Alternatively, to download/view a copy of the map click on following link:
- Paths Group, Footpaths Map, 2018-07-24 (PDF, 5 Mb)
Map of footpaths in the parish - Prints to A3 or A4
Helmdon Walks Leaflets
A total of 5 Circular walks leaflets have been published. Thanks to monies from the Parish Council, Helmdon Hurler and HYHO we have good stocks of all five circular walks and of the footpaths map. All available free to residents! Just contact Roger Miles.
These leaflets can also be downloaded by following the links below
- Circular Walk 1 (PDF, 509 Kb)
- Circular Walk 2 (PDF, 1 Mb)
Helmdon to Stutchbury
- Circular Walk 3 (PDF, 746 Kb)
Helmdon to Radstone with alternative return routes
- Circular Walk 4 (PDF, 1.8 Mb)
Helmdon to Wappenham and return
- Circular Walk 5 (PDF, 2.4 Mb)
Tanks Green Energy and HS2
Two walking groups are based in Helmdon, both led by the Footpaths Warden - Roger Miles
- The Thursday group is part of the national Health Walks programme (www.walkingforhealth.org.uk). Walks occur every Thursday afternoon throughout the year. Walkers meet outside the Reading Room in Helmdon at 1.45pm and return shortly after 3pm for tea and cakes. The walks are free and aim to cover around 3 miles but are adjusted to take account of the weather. The 2019 walks start on 10th January.
- The Monday Evening group only goes during the summer months to take advantage of the long evenings. Dates are advertised each year but typically run from late May to mid-August. These are longer walks of up to 6 miles. They leave from outside the village pub at 7pm and return there for a drink around 9 pm
Both walking groups are open to everyone, whether they live in Heldon or not and attract people from all over the area. Walks are generally off-road and appropriate walking shoes are advisable. Children under 16 will need to be accompanied by an adult and, unfortunately, dogs cannot be accommodated. (We tried but it did not work out well).
Footpaths and Walking Group News
Some Great Evening Walking - posted 18 August 2018
The 2018 season of summer evening walks around Helmdon concluded on Monday 6th August with 16 people enjoying the views from Astwell and the track to Weedon Lois. The weather was fine for all of the 12 planned walks which were well supported. There was just a hint of rain near the end of one, and the cooler evenings were welcome after such hot days. Splendid sunsets and sightings of deer and hares were particularly good this year. After the five or six miles in two hours many of the walkers ended their evening with a refreshing drink or two at 'The Fat Landlord'!
Thank You For All Your Help - posted 10 June 2018
Many thanks from the Footpaths Committee to all those who turned out on Saturday to clear the footpath on the old railway line. With so many helpers we were able to clear the whole path. Please go out and enjoy it.
The Monday Evening Group enjoying the evening sun
The Thursday afternoon group strolling on a sunny afternoon
Not the usual wild life to encounter on a Thursday afternoon.
Photo courtesy of Alan Kebble
Way ahead of the rest!