Driffield News

The exciting Wold Rangers Way unveiled

An exciting new circular trail comprising of six walks ranging from 43 to 2.5 miles all starting and finishing in Driffield has been unveiled

The Wold Rangers Way follows green lanes and bridlepaths through the beautiful countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds as walked by the Wold Rangers in years gone by.

The Wold Rangers were a nomadic group of men and women who travelled from farm to farm seeking shelter and sustenance in exchange for work.

The 43-mile main trail and its accompanying shorter walks follow the public rights of way that were trod every day for over 200 years by this group.

The Wold Rangers are an integral part of the agricultural folklore of the Yorkshire Wolds and stories of their adventures have been handed down from generation to generation amongst the farming community.

Many still recall the last Wold Ranger, Dog Geordie, sitting on Market Place in Driffield with his dog and ferret before taking himself back to Sledmere and his little caravan. Dog Geordie died in 1987.

The routes were devised by Cllr Mark Blakeston from Driffield Town Council following discussions about creating a circular walk from Driffield.

After conversations with Driffield town clerk Claire Binnington, they came up with the idea of basing the walks on the Wold Rangers as Claire’s mother-in-law, Margaret, who grew up on the farms of the Wolds, would tell her boys stories of the Wold Rangers and for years they have stuck in her mind and imagination.

Cllr Blakeston said: “The trail has been over two years in the making and I am really pleased to see it being launched.

“It started off with us wanting to create a circular walk from Driffield for local people and visitors to get out into the Wolds and enjoy the fresh air and countryside.

“Circular routes are special because it means you can join at any point of the route, so not just from Driffield but at Wetwang, Fridaythorpe, Fimber, Thixendale or wherever.

“After looking into the history of the Wold Rangers that aspect of the trail became even more important as they are a unique piece of our local history, embedded into the Wolds villages and farms, and in the living memory of some people.”

The Wold Rangers Way is now a registered charity and has received funding from Sport England and the Heritage Lottery as well as Driffield Town Council itself.

The walk has been devised in partnership with The Ramblers and the Countryside Access Team at the East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) and Tony Corrigan from The Ramblers and Sam McGivern from ERYC have been invaluable in planning routes and erecting way markers and signage.

Cllr Blakeston added: “We are so grateful to the Ramblers and the Countryside Access Team, Tony and Sam have been incredibly enthusiastic and giving of their time, knowledge, expertise and practical assistance.”

The 43-mile trail stretches from Driffield, taking in the many Wolds villages from Garton-on-the-Wolds, Wetwang, Fimber, Fridaythorpe, Huggate and Thixendale.

All the routes take the walker on a roller coaster of dales and valleys and panoramic, dramatic and beautiful vistas with places of interest along the way.

The Wold Rangers Way follows green lanes and bridlepaths through the beautiful countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds.

Trustee, Fiona Turner commented: “There is a level for everyone, from challenging to easy, and the fact that the 2.5 miler is accessible to all is a real plus so that people in wheelchairs and with young families can get out and about and appreciate not just the countryside, but learn a bit about the rural history of the area, through the adventures of the Wold Rangers.”

The five shorter walks are named ‘Trods’ after the traditional ancient term for the routes ‘trodden’ by the Rangers and are named after some of the more well-known Rangers.

The short route, which is a 2.5-mile circular, is completely accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs and an ideal family walk named in honour of Croom Mabel.

She was a Wold Ranger who lived in a tent between Garton and Wetwang and ended her days in Wold Haven Nursing Home in Pocklington in the 1980s, but not without taking herself off for days on end to the wilds of the Wolds as summer approached.

Horsehair Jack Trod is 9 miles, followed by the Ginger Joe Trod at 13 miles, Dog Geordie Trod at 17 miles and the Mad Halifax Trod at 22 miles.

“I am so excited about these walks, they are fantastic and really showcase the best the beautiful Yorkshire Wolds have to offer.”

Barrie Kitching – Trustee & veteran hiker

The Walks also promote the local businesses along the routes, the pubs, accommodation, cafes and shops as well as the businesses in the town centre of Driffield, which are looking forward to seeing walkers visit them as they start or finish the walk.

visit www.woldrangersway.org or on Facebook at Wold Rangers Way

Cllr Mark Blakeston from Driffield Town Council

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