A hundred and thirty years ago, in 1887 Britain was celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Queen Victoria's accession to the throne. Here in Leicester, in that Golden Jubilee year, a group of keen ramblers got together to form the Leicestershire Footpaths Association.
Today that Association is still going strong with 340 individuals and some 40 parish councils affiliated to the organisation. These days regular walking groups meet on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, with a Saturday Group undertaking longer walks of 8 to 12 miles.
The groups do an important job of noting obstructions to footpaths, monitoring waymaking and signage, keeping an eye generally on local footpaths and feeding their views in to local councils.
One of their most significant achievements and one which celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this year is the hundred-mile long Leicestershire Round.
This circular walk around the county was designed to take in as many of our local beauty spots and places of interest as possible. Thus it is routed through Bradgate Park, Shakerstone Railway Centre, Foxton Locks and the Langtons as well as a small stretch of Rutland.
The Guide Book to the Leicestershire Round is being re-published this year and the Footpaths Association is carefully monitoring the whole route and, where necessary, bringing it up to date.
Obviously things have changed since the days of Queen Victoria's Jubilee and the Association now has its own website which recorded 42000 hits last year.