The Ramblers Association (RA), guardian of the right to continue to wear your walking breeches tucked inside your socks, is fighting an important legal case that could have implications for all those who love the outdoors.

It’s all a bit legalistic, as the law tends to be, but basically, landowners were given the right in a High Court case in 1999 to claim there was no right of way under the ‘20-years’ use’ rule if they had a scrap of paper telling their gamekeeper to boot off the great unwashed, even if said gamekeeper never followed the instruction.

Before the 1999 ruling, it had been assumed a right of way came into existence after 20 years of public use unless signs were erected saying that wasn’t the case or the route was barred from time to time, for example.

The RA has been given leave to challenge this decision in the House of Lords, the highest court in England and Wales. The organisation if appealing for donations towards the cost of taking the case to their lordships’ house. See its website if you want more details or to help them out.

You can also read about local authorities’ new powers of issuing Gating Orders. We thought that was all about toffs in public schools getting confined to dorm for getting matron up the duff, but apparently, it’s another excuse to take away our liberties in the name of law’n’order. If a council thinks there’s a crime or anti-social behaviour reason for stopping us using a highway, ie a footpath, then they can. So there. Stamp your boots and check out the details at the RA website address above.

While we’re in campaigning mood, check out the ludicrous situation at Vixen Tor on Dartmoor where the owner Mary Alford is still demanding buckets of cash to allow the public to walk to the outcrop they’ve been walking to for years. Both the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) and the Open Spaces Society are working for a solution. You can find more detail at the BMC wesbsite and that of the Open Spaces Society.