The ArgusTrapped walkers were on public footpath (From The Argus)

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Trapped walkers were on public footpath

The Argus: Firefighters rescued the trio from a field Firefighters rescued the trio from a field

A pair of walkers who had to be rescued from a sodden field after they became stuck in mud were following a public right of way when they got into difficulties.

As reported in Friday’s Argus, two women walkers and a man who had tried to come to their rescue had to be led to safety by firefighters from a field off Whiteway Lane outside Iford near Rodmell on Thursday (January 3) after becoming bogged down in deep mud.

Specialist firefighters used inflatable mats to lead the trio to safety in a rescue lasting more than two hours.

A neighbour told The Argus she did not believe the field had a footpath through it, a claim denied by one of the rescued women.

Barbara Mann said: “The path across the field which we were following is a public right of way.

“As experienced walkers we both object to the implication that we should not have been on that path.

“It is a path used quite correctly and very frequently by many walkers.”

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Comments (14)

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10:36am Mon 7 Jan 13

Bob! says...

Is the Argus not capable of using an OS map in the first instance to check the neighbours claims?
Is the Argus not capable of using an OS map in the first instance to check the neighbours claims? Bob!
  • Score: 0

11:20am Mon 7 Jan 13

Tailgaters Anonymous says...

Is it a surprise when swathes of Britain have been under water that a low-lying area in the Ouse flood plain is actually muddy.
Common-sense, born & use come to mind!!
Is it a surprise when swathes of Britain have been under water that a low-lying area in the Ouse flood plain is actually muddy. Common-sense, born & use come to mind!! Tailgaters Anonymous
  • Score: 0

11:49am Mon 7 Jan 13

Crystal Ball says...

Reminds me of people who follow a sat-nav to the nth degree and then moan that it "led them into a ford/river/dead end". Doh!
Reminds me of people who follow a sat-nav to the nth degree and then moan that it "led them into a ford/river/dead end". Doh! Crystal Ball
  • Score: 0

12:18pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Bristol VR says...

I may be wrong here but I was under the impression that it is the responsibility of the land owner to ensure that a public right of way crossing his or her land is free of obstruction or danger to human life. Whilst I appreciate one cannot predict the effects of the weather on a field, the public right of way should be clearly marked across the field and not ploughed over and assumed into the rest of the field as they so often are by unrespecting land owners.
I may be wrong here but I was under the impression that it is the responsibility of the land owner to ensure that a public right of way crossing his or her land is free of obstruction or danger to human life. Whilst I appreciate one cannot predict the effects of the weather on a field, the public right of way should be clearly marked across the field and not ploughed over and assumed into the rest of the field as they so often are by unrespecting land owners. Bristol VR
  • Score: 0

2:27pm Mon 7 Jan 13

sussexram40 says...

Doesn't change the fact that anyone who decides to walk through a muddy field after all the rain we had must be a bit stupid!
Whether it's a public right of way or not, doesn't mean you walk along it when it's a bog.
Doesn't change the fact that anyone who decides to walk through a muddy field after all the rain we had must be a bit stupid! Whether it's a public right of way or not, doesn't mean you walk along it when it's a bog. sussexram40
  • Score: 0

2:27pm Mon 7 Jan 13

mnairb says...

Bristol VR - I think you'll find that the obligation on the landowner is to make sure that the footpaths/bridleways actually exist (i.e. not ploughed up or otherwise obliterated. I don't think he is obliged to actually maintain them. The footpaths between Hurstpierpoint and the Downs are in 'horsey country' and are very difficult in wet weather as the chalk below the surface does not allow water to drain away.
Bristol VR - I think you'll find that the obligation on the landowner is to make sure that the footpaths/bridleways actually exist (i.e. not ploughed up or otherwise obliterated. I don't think he is obliged to actually maintain them. The footpaths between Hurstpierpoint and the Downs are in 'horsey country' and are very difficult in wet weather as the chalk below the surface does not allow water to drain away. mnairb
  • Score: 0

2:39pm Mon 7 Jan 13

getThisCoalitionOut says...

I've never known a public footpath, right of way, etc to be through the middle of a field - surely common sense and the right thing to do, is that in any field, you only walk around the edges therefore not damaging any growing crops?

Brainless women no matter what - who continues walking in deep mud until they can't get out?!
I've never known a public footpath, right of way, etc to be through the middle of a field - surely common sense and the right thing to do, is that in any field, you only walk around the edges therefore not damaging any growing crops? Brainless women no matter what - who continues walking in deep mud until they can't get out?! getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: 0

3:26pm Mon 7 Jan 13

plantwoman says...

Actually chalk does drain very well under normal circumstances, but the volume of rain we've had recently is not normal.
As for crop damage, I honestly believe that most people do not realise or care where their food comes from. In the Sompting area I see quite a few of them just strolling across newly sown fields with their dogs. They don't seem to be bothered that it's taken a huge amount of time and effort to get it to that stage.
Actually chalk does drain very well under normal circumstances, but the volume of rain we've had recently is not normal. As for crop damage, I honestly believe that most people do not realise or care where their food comes from. In the Sompting area I see quite a few of them just strolling across newly sown fields with their dogs. They don't seem to be bothered that it's taken a huge amount of time and effort to get it to that stage. plantwoman
  • Score: 0

4:27pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Thetruth666 says...

Experienced walkers walking across a wet and muddy field to the point where they had to be rescued by the emergency services?Did your experience not tell you to turn back or better still not go there!“As experienced walkers we both object to the implication that we should not have been on that path in the first place"Well that worked out well for you then!Shouldn't have been there seems about right to me.
Experienced walkers walking across a wet and muddy field to the point where they had to be rescued by the emergency services?Did your experience not tell you to turn back or better still not go there!“As experienced walkers we both object to the implication that we should not have been on that path in the first place"Well that worked out well for you then!Shouldn't have been there seems about right to me. Thetruth666
  • Score: 0

4:48pm Mon 7 Jan 13

RottingdeanRant says...

getThisCoalitionOut wrote:
I've never known a public footpath, right of way, etc to be through the middle of a field - surely common sense and the right thing to do, is that in any field, you only walk around the edges therefore not damaging any growing crops?

Brainless women no matter what - who continues walking in deep mud until they can't get out?!
Then you have clearly not walked many of the public footpaths in Sussex (or elsewhere in UK come to that) as it is not at all unusual for them to go directly through a field.
[quote][p][bold]getThisCoalitionOut[/bold] wrote: I've never known a public footpath, right of way, etc to be through the middle of a field - surely common sense and the right thing to do, is that in any field, you only walk around the edges therefore not damaging any growing crops? Brainless women no matter what - who continues walking in deep mud until they can't get out?![/p][/quote]Then you have clearly not walked many of the public footpaths in Sussex (or elsewhere in UK come to that) as it is not at all unusual for them to go directly through a field. RottingdeanRant
  • Score: 0

9:59pm Mon 7 Jan 13

John Steed says...

the whys and wherefores of public rights of way are in this case irrelivant, it is firstly the absolute responsibility of the individual as to deciding if the route is safe to proceed, in this case it blatently was not secondly as there were three of them only one should have been sufficient to assertain the ground conditions. and decide that they were not safe to proceed, as somebody who loves the countryside only the bleating of sheep is acceptable, then I realised two of them must have followed the other, yep reminds of sheep.DOH
the whys and wherefores of public rights of way are in this case irrelivant, it is firstly the absolute responsibility of the individual as to deciding if the route is safe to proceed, in this case it blatently was not secondly as there were three of them only one should have been sufficient to assertain the ground conditions. and decide that they were not safe to proceed, as somebody who loves the countryside only the bleating of sheep is acceptable, then I realised two of them must have followed the other, yep reminds of sheep.DOH John Steed
  • Score: 0

10:08pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Bill in Hanover says...

If they were on the White Way (west of the road) then there are a few public rights of way although they are all on a slope not a flat field, if they were east of the road then there are no designated rights of way. But no matter what, it was pretty dumb to walk through a field after the downpours we've had but then again the Ramblers think they own the whole Earth and even Nature should cater for them.
If they were on the White Way (west of the road) then there are a few public rights of way although they are all on a slope not a flat field, if they were east of the road then there are no designated rights of way. But no matter what, it was pretty dumb to walk through a field after the downpours we've had but then again the Ramblers think they own the whole Earth and even Nature should cater for them. Bill in Hanover
  • Score: 0

12:07am Tue 8 Jan 13

Mr Sworld says...

getThisCoalitionOut wrote:
I've never known a public footpath, right of way, etc to be through the middle of a field - surely common sense and the right thing to do, is that in any field, you only walk around the edges therefore not damaging any growing crops?

Brainless women no matter what - who continues walking in deep mud until they can't get out?!
That just adds to the many things you don't know doesn't it? :-D
[quote][p][bold]getThisCoalitionOut[/bold] wrote: I've never known a public footpath, right of way, etc to be through the middle of a field - surely common sense and the right thing to do, is that in any field, you only walk around the edges therefore not damaging any growing crops? Brainless women no matter what - who continues walking in deep mud until they can't get out?![/p][/quote]That just adds to the many things you don't know doesn't it? :-D Mr Sworld
  • Score: 0

11:29am Tue 8 Jan 13

trystero says...

I blame The Greens.
I blame The Greens. trystero
  • Score: 0

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