Sunday, December 03, 2006

Rights of Way, La Cañadas

In Spain there are 120,000 kilometres of rights if way known as Cañadas, these were granted by the King for the movement of animals and cattle between pastures, farms and markets, and for movement around the country, they are actually ancient footpaths which are between 20 and 75 metres wide, allowing room for grazing. It was not until around 1970 that the rise in the interest to protect the environment resulted in a movement to re-instate the traditional cañadas. The cause was about reasserting the Public Legality of the Right of Way, just as has happened in the UK with many of the old footpaths and bridleways. In 2003 there was a big demonstration in Madrid when a large flock of sheep and goats was driven along the exact route of a lost cañada, exercising legal rights, crossing a Golf Course before arriving in the very heart of the Spanish Capital.

There are 5 of these legal footpaths - Las Vias Pecuarias - in The San Miquel de Salinas area, they would probably the original tracks androads when San Miquel was just a small village. To see a map of these routes go to there are signs to help you find the routes.

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