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Paths are the habits of a landscape

Paths are the habits of a landscape Paths are the habits of a landscape
Source: Michael Morgan via theblankcardcompany
The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot
From a book
The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot
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Paths are the habits of a landscape. They are acts of consensual making. It’s hard to create a footpath on your own […]. Paths connect. This is their first duty and their chief reason for being. They relate places in a literal sense, and by extension they relate people.

Paths are consensual, because without common care and common practice they disappear: overgrown by vegetation, ploughed up or built over. Paths need walking. In 19th century Suffolk small sickles called ‘hooks’ were hung on stiles and posts at the start of certain well-used paths: those running between villages, for example. A walker would pick up a hook and use it to lop off branches that were starting to impede passage. The hook would then be left at the other end of the path, for a walker coming in the opposite direction. In this manner the path was collectively maintained for general use.

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