21 JUNE 1913, Page 16



Siu,—I am enclosing you a cheque for £1 towards the Commons Preservation Account, 10s. towards the £1,000 and 18s. annual subscription to Commons and Footpaths. I was talking to one who has taken the Spectator from the first number to the present day and is a subscriber to the Commons and Footpaths Fund, and told him the method I had pursued to maintain footpaths. The answer I got was, "Write that to the Editor of the Spectator." Hence I trouble you with this letter. From 1872 to 1893 I was rector of a country parish in Berkshire, and every year I made a point of walking all the footpaths in the parish. I had a great advantage of having lived in the parish, of which my father was rector for thirty years, so I knew exactly where to go and that I was maintaining a public right. I also knew the bridle paths, and always said gates and not stiles ought to be put up. If incumbents took the trouble to learn the various rights of way in their parishes and walked them, would it not be an inexpensive way of maintaining them and helping many a poor parishioner to a short cut ? I have not written this letter for publication, though, of course, you are welcome to make any use you like of it. For the last twenty years I have been in a Fen parish and here there are very few paths.—I am, Sir, &c., GEORGE F. WELLS. St. Peter's Rectory, March, Cambs.

[Nothing could be better. We -wish the rural clergy as a whole would follow this admirable lead. We are specially

delighted to note what our correspondent says about bridle- paths. In these days of dusty motor-ridden roads the bridle- paths should be guarded with special care.—ED. Spectator.]