I walked footpath 20 again last evening and, looking on the bright side, unlocked gate, no particularly stupid stiles, very little barbed wire, nettles mostly cut away. The pointless stiles still remain at the junction with footpath 27 and at the "far" ends of FP 27.
None of Mr McCarthy's threats/promises about various proposed land uses have come to fruition, it's all still lying empty and pointlessly scarred by his efforts. HCC's rights of way department are moving at a snail's pace, are not over-demonstrating boundless efficiency, are uncommunicative and appear to think that I'm making matters worse by highlighting the problem.
Still, it's only a year so far.