THE THREATENED FOOTPATH IN THE LAKE DISTRICT.
ITO THE EDITOR OF THE " SPECTATOR." J
Sta',—This path, about which your correspondent "Lakelander " wrote in your last week's issue, is but a very "little one," and, except from a misanthrope's point of view, the chief thing "unnecessary " about it is to close it. Villagers returning from the Ferry to Sawvey or Hawkshead, cut off a corner by adopting it; and tourists walking from Windermere, lowness, or the Ferry to Hawkshead or Coniston, obtain a far more beautiful view over Esthwaite Water to the fine Lancashire fells of the Old Man and Wetherlam than any afforded from the more circuitous road.
However, if Mr. Bridson, the owner of the land through which it passes, is determined to " put it to the touch, to win or lose it all," he may be interested to hear what occurred in an adjoining county about a year ago under somewhat similar circumstances. There is on the Derbyshire side of Sheffield a charming little valley called Ryecroft Glen. This valley is threaded by a footpath commencing from a by-road and ending in a gentleman's drive. It was known to few even of the enterprising Peakplodders of Sheffield. The owner of part of the land through which it passed stopped the stiles one day and posted a burly " tyke " to frighten nursemaids and sketchers. A philanthropic inhabitant protested, called a meeting, got subscriptions, and half Sheffield went to see where Ryecroft Glen was. The matter was taken to the Leeds Assizes, and the landowner lost. The philanthropic inhabitant was drawn home in his carriage by the villagers, accompanied by a band playing "See, the conquering hero !" after which the same band played " lullabies" before the house of the landowner till the small hours. An appeal was asked for and paid for, but a new 'trial was refused. Since then, Ryecroft Glen has become one of the favourite halfholiday walks of Sheffield.—I am, Sir, &c.,
Windermere, March 3181. M. J. B. BADDELEY.