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Annex to Calf Top Walk and Leanving Access Land at Mill House

I worked out this route from the OS map from Barbondale to Calf Top in 2017. For the return, I followed a clear track over Access Land leaving it at Mill House (see map below).

There was a broken notice on the fell side of two gates at Mill House. The top half said “Private” but the bottom half indicated "footpath". The centre section was missing. Ahead were two cottages (holiday cottages I think). The ongoing route is via a public footpath, immediately left, by the right hand cottage, a distance of only a few yards, so I progressed through the gates. Incidentally, my (brand new at the time) OS map has a green spot at this point which indicates public access. If there was an alternative way indicated, I did not see it.

On 25 May 2020, a user of this route reported what looked like a new notice affixed to the gate on the fell side of Mill House. It evidently states "Private" "No Right of Way" "Use your Map to find an alternative route from Access Land".

I have seen signs at locations before, where there seems a conflict between "Private" and "Footpath" but in this case, the addition of the reference to using a map to find an alternative route indicates the landowner does not want you using this means of egress from the Access Land.

This request seems to conflict with the green spot on the OS map which suggests egress/access is allowed.

Not using this route at Mill House presents a problem because if you look at the map section below or a full OS map, leaving this Access Land to a clearly marked Right of Way in this area cannot be done without a long detour and it is unlikely that anyone who gets this far will be of a mind to retrace their steps over the same route to Barbon and is probably going to progress, regardless of the notice. Anyone just picking up an OS map and working this route out for themselves, as I did, has no way of knowing about this problem in advance.

I have marked a couple of spots where there may be a means of exit to Tossbeck from where you can join the route on a clear Right of Way but I have no knowledge of the status here. If anyone tries it, I would appreciate feedback.

According to The Ramblers, "You are permitted to climb over walls or fences to get into, out of, or across open access land, as long as you don’t damage them.". However there is no mention of a situation like this, where there is no Right of Way immediately alongside an egress point.

That's the full story. You may wish to consider your return route to Barbon should you choose to visit Calf Top, which in itself is a fantastic viewpoint and well worth the trip.

If I receive any further information about this issue, I will update my website accordingly but as I write, I am unable to offer a neat solution.

All information on this site is given in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of any damage, loss or injury which might result from acting on it.