SIR - Lesley Tate's article (Walking in the country, Don't forget your map, Craven Herald, October 31) about the lack of waymarks on her and others’ walks in North Yorkshire, despite the apparently many volunteers that the council's access department boasts, doesn't at all surprise me. But they at least have volunteers.

So one has to ask why Bradford Council, just down the road, steadfastly do not allow any volunteers to carry out even the simplest work linked to the council's Rights of Way department. Thus they’ve refused for the past 12 years to give me, a responsible experienced rambler for decades, access to their stock of yellow waymark discs. As a result all those places I've walked through where there’s only a faded-to-white sign, evidence of a previous sign, or a damaged sign remain unsigned, more often than not to the frustration of walkers who, like Lesley, have to turn back, discouraged.

The backlog of unskilled but vital footpath jobs to be done by Bradford is staggering, but they stubbornly refuse to admit that ordinary people can volunteer to do the simple tasks of clearing paths and putting up / replacing signage, leaving the council to repair bridges and stiles/gates, the big specialised jobs.

If hammering a couple of nails through a thin plastic disc, or using a strimmer could be classified as dangerous, then Bradford might have a point - somewhere I've an email from them darkly connecting Health and Safety and putting up waymarks - but those are just catch-all excuses for doing nothing and making sure we don't do anything either.

Map-reading is a useful skill for walkers, but it shouldn't be necessary if one has numerous and visible waymarks to augment written directions on local walks. And we don't.

Allan Friswell

Keighley Road


Note - Bradford Council did not wish to comment.