Footpaths

Within the parish of Helions Bumpstead there are 58 footpaths recorded on the definitive map, ranging in length from just 110 metres to just under 2 kms. It is possible to cover the whole of the parish north to south and east to west by the use of these footpaths. Copies of the Definitive Map, a large scale map that shows the routes of these footpaths in detail, are held by the Footpaths Representative (Alistair Goddard) and the Chairman of the PC (Jane Catchesides); a copy is also displayed in the Village Hall Committee Room.
Essex Public Rights of Way has recently completed a digital map showing all the footpath networks across Essex, and this can be viewed by clicking on the link here. Just type in the postcode or area you are interested in, and zoom in to see the detail.

With a village green and an ancient parish church to admire (and an impressive peal of bells to listen to), there are a number of extremely pretty views of the rolling countryside from the surrounding low hills. These views are better appreciated when using one of the local footpaths and it is hard to imagine a more idyllic setting than early on a sunny spring Sunday morning, going for a walk and discovering little known paths. These paths are also an excellent place to exercise your dog, but please remember other users by keeping them under control and clearing up after them. There is a disposal bin for dog litter located behind the Village Hall.

Like the majority of the parish councils in Essex, Helions Bumpstead is a member of the Parish Paths Partnership Scheme (P3), which is an initiative introduced by Essex County Council in conjunction with The Countryside Agency to assist parish councils to maintain, develop and promote their local footpath network.

In conjunction with the renovation of the Village Green, the Parish Council decided to provide some form of visual display that would assist residents and visitors to more fully enjoy the local countryside.
Funding was agreed under the P3 scheme and from The Conservation Foundation funded by O2, and in July 2008 the new permanent footpath map was installed on the Village Green.

Whilst all members of the public are encouraged to use the local footpaths, do remember that the routes are over worked fields and some parts can, at times, be difficult to negotiate. Very muddy and rutted paths, tree roots, occasional steeply sloping sections and stiles when crossing fields may pose problems for the less able. However most of these areas can be bypassed quite easily, and it is hoped that no-one will be deterred from enjoying these particular walks.

The Parish Council and local farmers have spent a lot of time over the last few years improving the local footpaths, improving signage and replacing bridges and stiles. It is hoped that local residents and visitors will gain as much pleasure in using them, as do the councillors in maintaining them. Maintenance is both continual and costly and volunteers are always welcome - especially on wet, cold Saturday mornings in late November! However, it is rarely that bad, sunny more often than not, with the work and pace being gentle and rewarding.

If you encounter any problems whilst out walking the footpaths, such as a fallen branch or tree blocking the way, or overgrown brambles that need clearing, please inform Alistair Goddard on 731 718.
And if you are interested in helping to improve your parish footpaths, again please contact Alistair.