Cockermouth dog walkers and residents will not be happy about this….
I have walked my dogs for 8yrs now along the railway path near the strawberry how development some times using the unofficial path that starts next to the railway line at a gate on the railway path to get to Slate Fell. This path goes across the small field, then crosses over a style/fence into the large field between Tom Rudd beck and Slate Fell estate.
The path then goes right straight to the gate or left it follows the beck for a while then it turns up the large field where it joins an official right of way that crosses the field.
Story Homes have fenced this unofficial footpath off and are now restricting access to the field. This doesn’t seem right. I have spoken to people born and bred here and this path has been used for generations as a right of way. After reading a House of Commons document SNSC 06026 surly there is something the Council can do to keep this path accessible as it would appear that under the law it can now be used as an official path. It can clearly be seen as a well used path in the ariel photo.
The most common way that rights of way come into existence is by presumed dedication. There is a long established principle that long use by the public without challenge can constitute evidence that the landowner intended to dedicate the used route as a public right of way. Presumed dedication can take place by common law or statute law. Statute law requires a period of use of 20 years from the point the use of the path is brought into question.Common law dedication may require less time.