By: Blonde One
Path furniture is a much commented on aspect of the Two Blondes walks. We have noticed that although Dartmoor is almost perfect in every way the signage and path furniture in general is rather lacking. A finger post will often just say ‘path’ without giving any clue as to where the path is leading. We once met the man in charge of path furniture on the Isle of Man and complimented him on how very useful and informative the furniture was there.
The recent trip to the Peak District, however, has found the winner to the path furniture competition (if there was such a thing)! The path furniture that we discovered on our trip was exceptional. There were a whole range of styles of signs: from traditional finger posts with information about destination and direction, to signs warning of steep drops. The paths underfoot were well marked with either pavements across fields to keep you in the right place or tracks so well defined that they were impossible to miss.
Where there were no signs there was an abundance of cairns to reassure you that you were on the right track.
The gates were all very well maintained and had springs on them to make sure they were closed even if you forgot to put the latch on. Some springs were quite strong and we decided that the National Park thought we should have a quick arm muscle work out as well as a leg one. In fact, the springs seemed to get stronger as we neared the end of our walks!
A Peak District Local Access Forum that is available to view online (http://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/766467/LAFbg160623-Item7.pdf) has earmarked £20,000 to improve the quality of path furniture, but we definitely feel that it doesn’t really need much improving! Well done Peak District National Park.