Once again I start with sad news. Robert Blackburn, footpath officer for Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and Easington, died in December 2021. Robert joined our team in 2017 and also led group walks.

Geoff Watkins, currently footpath officer for Redcar & Cleveland, has volunteered to take over Middlesbrough, but we need volunteer(s) to look after Hartlepool and Easington. Please get in touch if you can help, or if you would like to find out more about what is involved.

The memorial to David Leyshon was completed in late summer. It consists of a sloping ramp and gate which replace steep steps and an awkward stile near Aireyholme Farm, Great Ayton. The gate has a plaque commemorating David’s service to Cleveland Group. On a wet, stormy day at the end of November I joined members of the Leyshon family there to celebrate his life and work.

We have responded to several informal consultations on diversion proposals in Hambleton & Ryedale by suggesting alternative routes. None of these have been accepted by North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC), who have gone ahead to make diversion orders to which we have objected. A recent case at Head House, Hartoft, has now been forwarded to the Planning Inspectorate with NYCC supporting confirmation of the order.

The temporary closure of a section of the Cleveland Way at Skelton has been extended until 2027, unless the housing development is completed before then. The Countryside Team in Redcar & Cleveland have installed steps alongside the steep lower section of the path from Howard Drive in Marske down to the beach. The work is most welcome, as the slope has been repaired several times over the years but always became difficult again after the next storm. They continue to provide an excellent service to walkers. A fallen tree on a footpath near Tocketts Mill was removed the day after it was reported.

You may have read press reports of parking issues on Hutton Village Road, Guisborough. At certain times, especially during lockdowns, the road has become so congested that it has been difficult for large vehicles to gain access. To try to alleviate this problem the tarmac surface has been extended to the full width of the road and double yellow lines have been installed for a short distance on either side of access tracks to Hutton Hall, Home Farm and School House.

We hope that the long running saga of Rose Cottage may finally be resolved this year. A path has been constructed above the east side of Flatts Lane and steps down will lead to an off-road waiting area from which walkers can safely reach the path on the west side. A road closure will be required to allow concrete to be poured for foundations for the waiting area.

The walks programme continues to be well supported. Details are available on the website:

Alternatively you can contact the walks co-ordinator, Dennis Barr, on 01642 892215.