HAVING recently returned from a holiday in Wiltshire I heartily agree with Arthur Lee's dim view of Herefordshire's record in regard to footpaths.

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Staying at a pub in the Vale of Wardour we found a spider's web of well-marked paths radiating from the village in all directions, enabling one to walk a wonderful variety of circuits through the local countryside.

Landowners, it appeared, welcomed walkers, with stiles that featured dog-gates and broad swathes mown through fields of long grass.

How different this was from our experience back here at home, where stiles are often broken or wrapped in wire and paths themselves are few and far between.

Landowners here appear to share an unreasonable hostility to all encroaches on their land and to stubbornly resist the concept that our countryside is valuable not only for its agriculture or its shooting but for a wider social good.

It is to be profoundly hoped that changes to farming subsidies will lead to a shift in such outdated attitudes.

Hamish Scott
Kingsland
Leominster

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