It’s that time of year again, where we are inundated with the ‘C’ word. No, not Christmas, coughing! For the last fortnight I’ve been on a strict diet of Beechams lemon and Benylin, with a side serving of honey and root ginger, topped off with antibiotics. Yummy! Yesterday saw my last free day before returning to work, and much as I wanted to get away, the heavy rain which covered the country made me think twice about heading out of doors. Instead of heading north I stayed closer to home, aiming to complete my walk from Plains to Blackridge via the Lilly Loch.
Scotland is the home of the right to roam. This isn’t far here, with gates usually padlocked and stiles that are wobbly or Skippy or just broken. The picture above shows a crossing point on a Core Path, with barbed wire strung across it. Despite North Lanarkshire Council being aware of this so far no action has been taken.
There also seems to have been a fire sale on electric fencing, as there seems to be MILES of it. Pity no one thought to buy any signage for it. A single strand of wire running across rough ground can be hard to see in poor light. You do come to expect it at perimeters, but to run it across open fields, and in one case right across a right of way is not right.
Where possible I used gates, but some were locked, and had to be climbed. In the course of only a few miles I had to climb more fences than I care to remember, alright for me, being fit and fairly mobile. For small kids or those who aren’t able to climb easily, it’s a real deterrent to getting out in the country. I don’t think it’s right, that in a country where heart disease and obesity are major problems, and where people have to be encouraged to go outdoors, that a few rogues should be able to continually thumb their noses at authority. Having said that, if those in authority won’t use the powers they have, why would anyone bother complying when they know no one can be bothered taking them to court?