THECLOSING OF PUBLIC FOOTPATHS _ _ .
jTo the Editor, of the SpEcTATon.] .
Sut,—Grave encroachments on the amenities of the country- side have occurred in recent years in the loss of public foot- paths. In my experience many paths are threatened through sheer disuse. .A new generation arises which knows not ancient rights. Paths become interrupted, and grown over because people, who, if they knew, would use them, are ignorant of their existence. Charting footpaths is insufficient when most people never see the maps. For this condition there is a simple remedy which I commend to those who believe in preserving public rights of enjoying the sights and sounds of the country. That is for each local Council to exercise its legal right and moral duty in erecting finger board& indicating each recognized public right of way in its area. .
The landlord's point of view must. be recognized. While insisting on public rights, Councils should take vigorous pre- cautions that they be not abused. A useful step would be for Councils to offer rewards for information leading to the prosecution of those who damage crops.and hedges or commit other nuisances, or even prosecute themselves. Education authorities might also be approached with the request that scholars should be thoroughly admonished as to the behaviour that is appropriate to a civilized person walking in fields Such steps _would do something to .correct the impression that the land described not long ago as. " ours " to defend is, for the most part, a .merely hostile preserve hedged about with "Trespassers will be_ Prosecuted."—I am, Sir, .&c.,
31 Mundon Road,- Maldon, Essex. H. BREWER.