These footpaths do not only minister to the comfort and convenience of all classes, but they materially affect the health and rest of our hard-worked city people who during their short vacation come for recreation to our rural neighbourhoods. These footpaths do more than give health; they stimulate thought, and they educate the eyes of our fellow-countrymen. All close observers of nature, whether they are botanists, ornithologists, entomologists, or poets and painters, owe very much to their chances of education in our quiet field-ways and woodland walks.
These footpaths do more than serve our convenience, our health, our rest, our thought, our education; they foster a love of our home and our fatherland; they make us patriots.
It is for this that I plead earnestly that so soon as possible, either by private Bill or clauses in the District Council Bill that is shortly to be ours, the Legislature see to it that effective means are given to county authorities to safeguard the sacred inheritance our children claim at our hands –- the ancient rights of way.
It is little less than a scandal that, as matters are, invaluable field paths are at the mercy of men who, by simply giving orders to an agent or a keeper or a tenant to close up that path, can take away illegally and with immunity that which never belonged to them, and that for which the public are almost as individuals powerless to fight.
(English Lakes Visitor and Keswick Guardian, 23 August 1890, p. 5)