Comberton Paths

Covid lockdowns have highlighted the importance to us all of walking in the countryside for exercise and particularly for mental health. It has also highlighted that Comberton is woefully lacking in local paths and circular walking routes. Compared with local villages like Toft, Eversden or Bourn, we have about a third of the rights of way that they do. We do have a few very useful permissive paths (and many thanks to the landowners for providing them), but they could be withdrawn at any time. We have a deadline of January 2026 to reclaim missing Lost Highways based on historical evidence – see Ramblers Don't Lose your Way.

As one Covid lockdown project, I have researched a particular route which was historically available for centuries and walked regularly by villagers until it was ploughed up in the 1980s as it had never been added to the county’s definitive rights of way map in the 1960s. This is the Lot Way running East from the church. We currently have a permissive path parallel (thanks again to the landowner), but we owe it to our children to try to re-establish a permanent route – which could be along the route of the current permissive path.

As a second project, I have put together a set of blue sky ideas of what a good path network for Comberton might look like. Not to be walked now, but as something perhaps to aim for over the next few decades. You can read more about both these at http://pghardy.net/comberton/paths/. I’d like to hear from anyone who has ideas about how either of these projects could be moved forward. My email address is paul@paulhardy.net.

Published in Comberton Contact in September 2021