Welcome to Hertfordshire Walker

CPRE Hertfordshire double award winner 2022

Survey suggestions and responses

Thanks for your feedback

Walk 40: Ayot Greenway North Loop downloaded to a GPS device
Walk 40: Ayot Greenway North Loop downloaded to a GPS device

A big thanks to all those who took part in the recent survey on Hertfordshire Walker. And thanks, too, to those who added comments and suggestions about how the site could improve, including the person who wants a walk named after them when they’ve completed the lot. The comments included some great ideas. Some we have already implemented but others we will try to add over the coming weeks. Below is a list of the suggestions and our responses.

Suggestion: On some walks give clearer indication of start location/where to park - eg postcode to get there.

Response: We always add the names of the road and village where the walks start so that people can put them in a sat nav device and then work out a safe place to park. We try not to advise where to park because parking restrictions might be introduced after the walk has been published. We sometimes add the grid reference for the starting point so that people can click on the link and see an image of the area. We don’t use postcodes that can be linked to a house following complaints from local residents; this can be a particular problem in remote rural areas. But I will go through all the walks and make sure the start points are clear. 

Suggestion: Some kind of filter based on distance. We walk with our two small children, their limit is about 3.5 miles.

Response: All the walks listed on the left-hand side of the website and on the “All our walks” page have the distance in the title, but, following your suggestion, I have added a new box in the left-hand column of the website titled “choose how far you walk” which groups all the walks that are a certain length so you can scroll through and fine one that meets your need.

Suggestion: I’d like more walks to the east of the county. And I think also the name of the walk - if you don’t know the name of the place then it’s bit tricky but I guess you can look on the map to find ones to do.

Response: On the case. The next 10 walks which we have already designed and mapped are mostly in east and north-east Hertfordshire. We will publish them when we’ve thoroughly tested them and taken photos. As for names for the walks, as mentioned above, we use the name of the village and the road where the walk starts so that people can search for them on a map or mapping device. We do recommend people carry Ordnance Survey maps of Hertfordshire.

Suggestion: I would like to see a few longer walks of 7 miles and above as that’s the length of walk I’m interested in.

Response: Okay, will keep that in mind. We already have 25 walks that are between seven and 26 miles long but will see if we can extend any of the new ones planned. There are 34 walks between five and seven miles long with many of them closer to seven than five. The new list in the left-hand column of the website offers a link to walks grouped by distance.

Suggestion: Sometimes instructions are not entirely clear and footpath numbers don’t exist on signs or are incorrect.

Response: Sorry about that. My wife, who walks with me, reads through the directions to make sure they make sense, but apologies if they are unclear. As for signs, I do say in our Walking tips page that the rights of way (ROW) numbers I use are from the Hertfordshire County Council ROW map and that they don't always appear on the signs. And, of course, sometimes signs fall down or are damaged over time. So it’s a difficult one. That is why I add the distances between sections along with compass points and descriptions to try to help. We also carry a black marker pen with us, and with the permission of the Herts CC ROW team, add the ROW numbers when they are missing. Please see our page that explains the ROW system used by Herts CC.

Suggestion: I think it would be useful to know when a walk was completed as sometimes things have changed since.

Response: Good idea, which I have just implemented. Now every walk shows the date it was published. From walk 24 onwards this date will be a day or two after the walk was tested by us because it takes me that long to write it up, format the images, create the maps, put it all together in a web page, then proof read it a couple of times. For walks 1-24 the publish date is not the date the walks were originally published because they first appeared on our old site and many were mapped almost 20 years ago - but have been updated since. 

Suggestion: Add a bit of guidance on the type of walk - muddy/dry/ hilly/flat - to search by.

Response: This is a tricky one because at certain times of the year paths can be like swamps and at others like concrete. I do add a line if a particular part of a path can be muddy, but it’s always helpful if walkers add comments and tips if they have done the walks at different times of the year. I think I usually do mention when there are hilly parts in the text, but I am guessing you are talking about a filter. I have started to add an estimate for the total ascent during the walk. On the most recent walks this number is added alongside the distance at the top of the page. I will try to find time to work my way back through earlier walks and add the total ascent to them all. 

Suggestion: Photos of the starts would be helpful.

Response: We have done this on some walks but sometimes the start is along a road or between houses which doesn’t make for a great photo. But I will keep this in mind in future, perhaps a photo of the first gate/stile?

Suggestion: I would prefer more directions using landmarks. Have found myself lost quite a few times using the compass directions.

Response: Sorry about that. I will try to add more mention of landmarks. I tend to avoid mentioning anything such as a large tree or a wooden gate because they might fall down or be replaced. I do try to mention landmarks at junctions where there are any, but not along the route because that can get confusing for some. But I will keep that in mind in future.

Suggestion: I was going to mention the printing but have now discovered the Print Friendly option courtesy of this survey.

Response: Yes, the PrintFriendly option for deleting elements from the pages and printing only the words has been a popular addition and one quite a few people were unaware of but have welcomed.

Suggestion: I would like to be able to list all the walks close to me or where I want to walk from showing their length. At the moment I use map view and quite time consuming.

Response: You can use the search box on the site to enter the name of your village or town - or a spot close to you where you want to walk - and it will present you with a list of walks that mention that place along with the length of the walk. I hope this helps. We also have a page where you can see all the start/finish points on one interactive map. You can zoom into this map, to the place you want to walk, click on the green icon of two walkers to reveal a pop-up with the walk title, distance, description, image and a link to the walk page. 

Suggestion: A more detailed map please.

Response: The maps we publish on Hertfordshire Walker are produced on the free MapHub site. They are geographically accurate but lack the detail of Ordnance Survey (OS) maps. It would cost a fortune to buy a license to display more detailed maps. On our walking tips page we advise all walkers to carry the relevant OS map with them to use in conjunction with the maps on the site. We have two maps on each walk page, a static image at the top of the page and an interactive map at the bottom which you can zoom in on for more detail. We also include GPX/KML files which can be downloaded to a mobile device and opened in one of the free GPS navigation apps or the paid-for OS app. You can follow the routes in more detail and in real-time.

Suggestion: I have struggled to download info onto my phone so have ended up printing which creates reams of paper. I find the photos very helpful for navigation.

Response: Sorry to hear this. We use both the OS app (paid for) and Komoot app (free) so that we can test they work with our walks. We view the walk on our mobile phones, click on the download the GPX file link, open the dowloaded file in either OS or Komoot, and then just follow the arrow superimposed on the moving map to ensure perfect navigation. So far we have not had a problem and it works every time. Feel free to contact me directly using the contact form at the bottom right of any page of the website and we can discuss the issues and, hopefully, find a solution. It would be good to know what app you are trying to use and what problems you have been encountering.

Suggestion: I would find it useful if I could sort the walks by distance and by whether they are loops or linear - maybe you can but I always find myself reading the whole list to try to identify the sort of walk I want.

Response: As mentioned above, all the walks have the distance in the titles, but I have added a box in the left-hand column of the website grouping the walks by distance thanks to a suggestion following this survey. I hope this help. Regarding the type of walk, the majority (110) of the walks are loops with just 12 linear walks. I could create a filter for this but considering the next 10 walks we have planned are all loops I am not sure it’s worth it. The list of walks all state whether they are loops or linear in the title so you can either scroll down the list on the left of the website or go to the “All our walks” page on a mobile device to see the list. Or you can just use the ‘search’ box at the top left of the website and search for ‘linear’. That will reveal all linear walks on the site.

The main responses to the questions in the survey

1: How often do you use the walks on Hertfordshire Walker?

64.7% - I've tried a few and intend to try more
15.7% - I am working my way through the walks
9.8% - I use the site once a week

Other comments
  • We have half a dozen or so favourites we go regularly
  • I’ve used them a lot, with some favourites- will continue now lockdown is over...especially The Woodman based ones 
Note: We have created a small site for fans of The Woodman in Wildhill. It’s called Walks From The Woodman. We would like to print all these 10 circular walks if we can find a printer who doesn’t charge a fortune.

2: How do you follow our walks?

25.5% - I print the map and directions from the website
23.5% - I follow the directions on my mobile phone
31.4% - I do a bit of both
3.9% - I download the GPX/KML files to use on a mobile device

Other comments
  • Look on Hertfordshire Walker for route and the remap using FootpathApp.com app
  • My friend plots them on 'footpath' an app and we use that. occasionally refer to the website if we get lost!
  • The GPX files don't seem to like going onto Komoot so I use the directions and plot them on Komoot myself
  • Memory and amend when we go "off-route"
  • I put them onto my OS map  

3: If you print the walks did you know you can delete elements from the directions page to save paper and ink?

68.1% - No, I didn't know that
23.4% - Yes, I use the green PrintFriendly icon at the bottom of each walk to delete elements

Other comments
  • I don’t print them
  • Until I met you at the start of The Kentish Lane loop
  • I don't print, I use my mobile
  • Not printing  

4: Did you know you can comment on any walk and share your tips and observations for other walkers?

50% - No, I didn't realise there was that option
30% - Yes, I use the comment box on the walks
20% - Yes, I know it's there but I don't use it

Other comments
  • Commented just once. Would do more if easier
  • I find other people's comments helpful but have never commented myself  

5: If you find a footpath blocked, a footbridge broken, or any other problem do you now you can report the fault directly to the county council?

48% - No, I didn't know that
24% - Yes, I always report any faults I find with the county's rights of way team
20% - Yes, but I don't report faults

Other comments
  • Yes, and I would report major faults
  • Yes, but don't report all faults
  • I am a Ramblers member so I notify the
  • paths  

6: Do you ever try the pubs/restaurants mentioned in the walk directions

27.5% - Sometimes we pop in for a drink or snack
23.5% - Yes, we often plan our walks based on the pubs/restaurants mentioned
15.7% - No
7.8% - Yes, if we use their car park
25.5% - We would but the pubs have been closed due to Covid

7: Did you know that you can see the start of each walk on one interactive map?

76.5% - Yes, I use that page to select walks
13.7% - Yes, but I don't use it
9.8% - No, I didn't realise that page existed

Thanks again to all those who took the time to respond.

And finally some nice words of praise were added....

  • You’re brilliant as you are!
  • We have loved using this website to explore our beautiful county. Thank you so much!
  • The circular nature of the walks is ideal. We usually plot walk on printed OS map section as like looking at their notation, contours, sites etc and don’t like using phone as I walk. Just for photos!
  • I really appreciate the time and effort that has gone into creating and maintaining this website. It's the first port of call when I want to walk. Would love one for Essex too as I'm on the border of Herts and Essex. Thank you for this brilliant website!
  • It’s a brilliant and helpful site - best walking directions I've come across and plenty of loops.
  • Name one after me once I’ve done them all! Haha!
  • Love this website. There are many undiscovered paths is like to try. Would love to go on accompanied or organised walks if possible
  • I’m more than happy with the site, information and sincerely grateful of the effort you put in to research and produce the website. I probably don’t know the half of it!
  • I like the site very much and have no suggestions
  • I think you do an amazing job, and you have helped make lockdown so much better, thank you! Please keep doing what you are doing.
  • You’re doing great!
  • It’s pretty much perfect 
  • That's a tuff one, have now completed some 25 walks with no problems. So Happy, Thank You.
  • Not a lot, the site is very clear and well-organised
  • It doesn’t need to improve. Its the best Walks Site with the clearest directions i have ever seen, I have seen a few
  • As a family we love the circular walks, so more of those would be great! Keep up the good work.
  • i think they are great and i need to find out how to use the gps app to save printing the paper
  • Love love love your site, please keep the walks coming. More near the Essex border if possible.
  • It is great already!
  • We love it. It’s been a great find during these Covid times. The walks are fantastic. Thanks so much.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments and feedback
If you try any of the walks on this site, please let us know what you thought of them. You can either comment here, or on our members-only Facebook Group where walkers are sharing photographs of their walks and walking tips. Comments on our Facebook Group go live immediately, as they do on our Facebook Page. Comments here on our website are moderated, so there will be a slight delay before what you write goes live.

Supported Charity: The Trussell Trust

Supported Charity: The Trussell Trust
Supporting those locked in poverty

Search This Site