The Ringwood and Fordingbridge Footpath Society was formed in 1974 to protect the interests of users of public paths by ensuring (a) their reasonable maintenance and freedom from obstruction and (b) their adequate signposting and waymarking. It aims to urge local authorities to discharge their responsibilities with regard to public paths and seeks to foster and maintain friendly cooperation between path users, landowners, local authorities and the community generally. We participate with Councils in surveying, improving and maintaining local paths and devising healthy walks and many other circular walking routes which are published in leaflet form.
The Society's area is made up of thirteen parishes and covers about 160 square kilometres of greatly varied countryside ranging from quiet water meadows to high wind-blown common, from the edge of the New Forest to the borders of Cranborne Chase. A variety of flora and fauna including deer may be seen and within the New Forest, grazing ponies, cattle, donkeys, sheep and pigs may be met. Although we are essentially a footpath protection organisation, we believe that the best way of maintaining the network in good order is to make good and regular use of it.
The Society provides a comprehensive programme of guided walks and social events throughout the year that are published in “Waymark”, the quarterly magazine that is sent out free to all members. This magazine is also available on our website.
Newcomers to the area, prospective new members and visitors are very welcome to join us for walks in these delightfully varied parts of Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire. Many of our walks take place on the rights of way in our 13 parishes in an area of wonderfully contrasting scenery, from the New Forest to the rolling chalk downlands. We also venture to other areas such as the coastline of Dorset and the rural landscapes of southern Wiltshire, Dorset and Hampshire.
Welcome to the website of the Ringwood and Fordingbridge Footpath Society. Newcomers to the area, prospective new members and visitors are very welcome to join us for walks in these delightfully varied parts of Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire. Our walks normally take place in an area of wonderfully contrasting scenery, from the New Forest to the rolling chalk downlands and coastline of Dorset and the rural landscapes of southern Wiltshire.
"Waymark" is the quarterly newsletter of the RFFS. It is published in March, June, September and December. Click here to contact the editor for more information about submitting articles and photos.
Regular copies of this newsletter are sent to Members. Would you like to join us? Just CLICK HERE to download the Application for Membership, print it out, fill it in and send it to our Membership Secretary either on-line or by post, the addresses are on the form. You can send payment for £4 for a single member or £6 for family membership on-line by BACS or with a posted cheque.
Photo on walk from Abbotswell to Dur Hill © D Knapp 2012
We had to cancel the 2020 AGM to comply with the Lock-down regulations. We will keep you informed of new arrangements as soon as possible.
Click here to download a copy of the Minutes of the meeting on 18 March 2019
If or when you manage to go on any of the scheduled walks on the Events page or our NEW self-guided walks, please feel free to post photos or comments up on our FACEBOOK PAGE. It would be lovely for us all to stay connected during these difficult weeks and to exchange news about how much exercise and good fun we have all managed to have. Facebook is, after all, a way of keeping in touch with one another.
On 11th December a small gathering took place in Fordingbridge Churchyard to celebrate the installation of a new Avon Valley Footpath Information Board. The full route is described and details can be obtained by zapping the QR code on the board. There is also information about St Mary's Church and the town of Fordingbridge.
This long distance path takes walkers between Salisbury Cathedral and Christchurch Priory.
The photo shows, from left to right .
Canon Gary Pilbrick (Vicar of Fordingbridge), Edward Hale (Mayor of Fordingbridge), Ruth Croker (Chairman of Ringwood and Fordingbridge Footpath Society), Rowan Brockhurst (President), Canon Tim Daykin (a former vicar of Fordingbridge and now Membership Secretary of the Footpath Society).
Hampshire County Council and New Forest District Council have selected several well-used paths in our area for improvement using funds specifically made available for Rights of Way. Work on the paths in Ringwood to the east of Hightown Lake and on the Avon Valley Path from Hurst Road to Snails Lane is nearly completed. Kelvin's photos before the work and after are published on The Paths page