A history society and a ramblers’ group are joining forces to re-open a track, which was closed because of ‘anti-social behaviour’.
The track runs off Derby Road between Ilkeston fire station and the Clarksfield Allotments ending at Rutland Sports Park.
Stephen Flinders, of Ilkeston and District Local History Society, said: “It is clearly visible on a 1598 map leading to land which used to belong to the Lord of the Manor.
“It was in use at a time when only about 400 people lived in Ilkeston. Just about everybody was involved in agriculture and people would walk that way to get to the fields.”
Another historian Danny Corns, 77, believes it was part of an ancient route passing Little Hallam Hall. He said:”I used it for over 65 years at least. All the kids went that way to watch Notts and Derbyshire play cricket on the Rutland Rec’.”
Derbyshire County Council said the track was closed in 2009 ‘because of anti-social behaviour’, with a county official saying it was ‘not a footpath on the definitive map’.
A county spokesman said: “If people believe it should be re-opened they must prove it was used for 20 years before it was closed as a footpath or right of way.”
The route is shut by steel fencing and the historians believe this was erected while the new fire station was being built.
Keith Shiers, footpath secretary for Erewash Ramblers, said: “Once they have started the ball rolling, we will support them in any way we can.”