Wirral Footpaths and Open Spaces Preservation Society



125 years of preserving the footpaths of WirralWirral Footpaths and Open Spaces Preservation Society

Wirral Footpaths and Open Spaces Preservation Society celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2013.
The pioneering work began when local businessmen saw that footpaths and open spaces were under threat from the increasing industrialisation and building of railways and canals.

They met on 2nd November 1888, to form the Society to preserve, maintain and defend Wirrals footpaths and open spaces. The Duke of Westminster lent his support as president. A year later there were 157 members and the accounts showed a balance of 3 10s 10 ½d (3.54).

The first task was to map and number Wirrals footpaths. To encourage people to use the footpaths, the Society put up black and white cast iron finger posts on main roads. By 1893, there were 38 costing 2 each with many more added later. Like many signposts, they were dismantled and stored during World War Two in case they assisted the enemy in the event of an invasion. Not all of them were replaced afterwards but in 2009 forty of these fingerposts were refurbished in the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral and others in South Wirral.

The work is just as important nowadays as footpaths are threatened by housing and other development. Help us to protect the 74 miles of footpaths and 28 miles of permissive paths and bridle ways in Wirral by joining the Society.

How can you be involved?

Members can choose whether to support the Society from their armchair, or by active involvement:
  • on our walks
  • at the monthly footpath clearance work parties (March to November)
  • helping with publicity events or just putting up some of our posters in your local area.

Individual subscriptions are only 4, couples at one address, 6.

you can get more information
  • on our website www.wirralfootpaths.org.uk
  • from Arthur Cheetham - Membership Secretary 0151 625 7361
  • by emailing info@wirralfootpaths.org.uk