Footpaths to the past: ‘We must keep our ancient tracks alive by walking them’

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The UK’s paths and holloways should be protected for their environmental appeal and historic worth – but they also need to be maintained by using them

It’s not lost on me, the irony of writing about mobility while sitting at my desk for hours, with a bent spine and cramped stomach. I’ve spent the last few years writing a book about past movement and mobility; footprints becoming trails that turn into a torrent of trods and roads.

My body wouldn’t allow for this stillness, so I went for walks. My lunchtime stroll was through a small wood on the top of the Chiltern hills, on the edge of the south Oxfordshire village where I lived at the time.

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