News Update

Disley Footpaths Society celebrates 25 years of footpath maintenance, walks programmes and related events and talks.

If you haven’t already, book now for our 25th anniversary celebration on the 25th April. This will take place at Frankie’s Wine Bar commencing at 11.45 with our customary April General Meeting and will be followed by lunch. The cost to members is £5.00, £10 to non-members. If you would like to attend and have not yet made up your mind, please contact Pat Featherstone at pat.darter1@gmail.com by close of play on Friday 19th April and if possible make payment on line to Disley Footpaths Society (business account) sort code:  08-92-99, acc.no.: 65516649.

Do join us for what will be a fun event with photos and reminiscences of our work over the last 25 years.

We are also liaising with Canal & River Trust about installing a commemorative bench on the towpath.

The first walk of the season will be on Wednesday 17th April with a walk of about 5 miles from Whaley Bridge to Chapel-en- le-Frith via Eccles Pike. Details to follow via email and the DFS web pages.

Disley’s many footpaths are a wonderful resource and in recent years have become busier than ever.

Disley Footpaths Society works closely with Cheshire East Council Rights of Way Team to maintain our village paths; and with the Canal & River Trust to maintain the canal towpath.

The Parish of Disley & Newtown, covering some 9 square kilometres, enjoys remarkably varied scenery: wooded valleys, rolling farmland and Pennine moorland interspersed with rocky outcrops of Millstone Grit. Over 36 kilometres of well maintained, well signposted footpaths, together with the Peak Forest Canal towpath, offer gentle rambles and more strenuous walks alike; and several ‘promoted routes’ start in, pass close by or go through Disley, including the Gritstone Trail and the North Cheshire Way. Our pubs, cafe and good rail and bus links with Manchester, Stockport and Buxton, make Disley an ideal centre for walkers.

Walking up to Black Rocks

The Society, established in 1999, can look back with pride at a number of achievements since then:

  • footbridges installed
  • signposts repaired
  • new footpaths designated
  • as well as the on-going battle with encroaching vegetation.

The overall result is that Disley has some of the best signposted and maintained footpaths in Cheshire. Additionally, we offer an organised walks programme each year and arrange general meetings twice a year with guest speakers. New members are always welcome.

Disley Footpaths Society was founded in 1999 and this year (2024) will be celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Its constitution states the following purposes and objectives:-

  1. to carry out condition surveys and inspections of footpaths.
  2. with the agreement and permission of East Cheshire Borough Council and the landowner, where   necessary, to carry out or to organise maintenance, repair and improvement works.
  3. to promote publicity and information about footpaths.
  4. to arrange events and activities to encourage use.
  5. to raise funds in connection with the above where appropriate.
  6. to liaise and cooperate with other organisations which have a mutual interest with the Society in the above.
  7. to establish new footpaths where appropriate.
  8. to report, to the competent Authority, any obstructions which prevent free access to the footpaths.


The Society has a committee of ten members who are elected at the AGM.

The current (2024) officers are:-

Chair: Tony Jackson arjackson04@gmail.com

Secretary: Pat Featherstone pat.darter1@gmail.com

Treasurer & Membership Officer: Dave Francis dandafrancis17@gmail.com

The AGM is held in the autumn and there is also an All-member General Meeting in the spring. Both meetings include a speaker on a topic of local interest.


Membership of the society is open to anyone who is concerned about the preservation of our footpaths for present and future generations. The cost is £5.00 and a membership form can be found by following this link Disley Footpaths Society Membership Form. The membership year runs from 1st September to 31st August.


Regular monthly workdays are held on the second Monday of the month and include work such as:-

re-surfacing paths, repairing signposts and way-markers and clearing vegetation. If you would like to help with this work, please contact our Works Co-ordinator Jean Windsor jeanwinds25@gmail.com.

Members also help out by ‘adopting’ a footpath and regularly monitoring its condition. The Society was given an award for this scheme by the Ramblers Association in 2004.

Additionally, on the first Wednesday of the month there is on-going work on the towpath of the Peak Forest Canal under the auspices of the Canal & River Trust. If you would like to help with this please contact Tony Jackson or Pat Featherstone as above.

During the spring, summer and autumn months the Society organises a series of walks, mainly in the local area, which culminate in the Annual Parish Boundary Walk. The walks programme for 2024 can be found below.

Using the Footpaths

Disley has 78 footpaths covering nearly 23 miles or 36.5 kilometres in total – the highest density in Cheshire East. Prior to the Society’s existence, Cheshire County Council ran a Parish Paths Partnership one of whose achievements was the production of footpath maps for most of the parishes in Cheshire. The map for Disley is now produced by the Parish Council and can be obtained either from their offices or the village newsagent at a cost of £2.00. In addition to the map itself it has several suggested routes for walkers.

We ask all those using our footpaths to keep to the designated routes and to keep dogs under control particularly in the lambing season.

Footpath issues. If you encounter a problem with a footpath, such as a fallen tree, fallen fingerpost or broken stile, please log the issue via the Cheshire East website at : Cheshire East Public Rights of Way. Minor issues can be reported (together with a photo if possible) to Jean Windsor at   jeanwinds25@gmail.com, the Parish Office or Cheshire East at prow@cheshireeast.gov.uk. (If you are unsure of how to use the Cheshire East website, Jean is willing to advise.)

Other organisations

 The Society is affiliated to two other organisations concerned with access to the countryside:

Peak & Northern Footpaths Society. (www.pnfs.org.uk) was founded in 1894 and has a long and honourable record of defending the rights of everyone to use public rights of way and holding landowners and councils to account in their duty to maintain them.

Walkers are Welcome (www.walkersarewelcome.org.uk) is a nationwide initiative launched in 2007 to be ‘welcoming to walkers’. They have enabled the development of over 100 accredited towns and villages to assist with their communities’ economic, physical, health and mental well-being through walking. Disley’s accreditation from 2015 onwards is in recognition of its network of well-signposted and well-maintained paths and its good transport links to Greater Manchester and the Peak District. The Society leads on this on behalf of Disley & Newtown. The annual subscription is paid by the Parish Council.

A third local organisation concerned with the upkeep of footpaths is East Cheshire Ramblers (www.ramblerseastcheshire.org.uk) who carry out an annual survey of our footpaths. For several years now their reports have not found any major faults with our paths. Most were given an A ranking. A tribute to the hard work of our many volunteers.

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