Survey of the Beachamwell PROW network

In the past few days I have walked or cycled the complete network of 20 miles of public footpaths and bridleways in Beachamwell. It is pleasing to note that generally the network is in pretty good condition. Access, path surfaces and signage are satisfactory for most routes. There are two cases of obstruction (BR1 and FP13) and a couple of cross-field paths not restored after cultivation.

BR2 looking north

BR2 north of The Lodge. Easy walking along this broad track.

SOME OUTSTANDING ISSUES
(View a map with route numbers HERE)

BR1 (Searchlight Drove)
At the N end walkers are faced with a ‘Beware of the Bull sign’. The exit from BR1 on to the A1122 is blocked with barbed wire

BR2
There is a locked bar across this bridleway at its junction with the A1122. Walkers and cyclists could pass, but not horse riders.

FP10
The footpath through the woodland belt is not marked. Low growing branches and fallen branches obstruct the route, but it is possible to find an alternative way round.

FP10 obstructed by fallen branches

FP10 obstructed by fallen branches

Although the cross-field sections of FP10 have now been marked, the surface has not been restored with the consequence that walking in the soft and wet earth is difficult.

FP12
At the southern end the path has not been restored following cultivation. At its northern end the footpath doesn’t follow the correct route. It should cross the asparagus field to end in the corner by the old school.

FP13
The long-standing obstruction of FP13 at Hall Barn remains the one major problem of access in the network. The Parish Council has been pressing Norfolk County Council to resolve this matter but no progress has been made so far.

FP21
Following the recent removal of pigs this field has been ploughed and a section of FP21 not yet made good.

BR19a near Furze Hill. Accessible now but at risk of obstruction by plant growth in the summer

BR19a near Furze Hill. Accessible now but at risk of obstruction by plant growth in the summer

SIGNAGE

Provision of fingerposts and waymarks is not bad, but there is scope for improvement. In a few place it would be helpful to have new posts for way marks.  As previously noted in this blog there are four places in the Beachamwell network where a path meets a metalled road but the required sign is missing. The local highway authority has now promised to install these fingerposts.

In November 2016 a ‘Public Bridleway’ fingerpost appeared in Drymere (next to the BR3 route to Warren Farm) at a point where in fact there is no right of way . No one seems to know who was responsible, but again Norfolk County Council Highways are panning to remove it in the near future.

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