It’s pleasing to be able to report some good examples of local paths and rights of way being maintained and looked after. Footpath 20 (which runs from the sharp left-hand corner on the Oxborough Road towards the centre of the village) was blocked by overgrown vegetation earlier in the year. That was cut back, and following the sowing of winter wheat the farmer has left a generous headland making the path easy to walk.
At Green Drove the southern end has been cleared of blackthorn and other scrub which was seriously encroaching on this pleasant route.
And today I see that Bridleway 19a which continues out past the ruins of All Saints Church across Furze Hill and on to the Oxborough Road has been much improved by the cutting of the long tussocky grass and the firming and levelling of the surface.
Many thanks to the farmers and landowners who are carrying out this good work.
Unfortunately there are also instances elsewhere where access to our footpaths is not so good.
Footpath 10 which crosses Toot Hill and carries on to The Lodge remains ‘lost’ inasmuch there is no sign of any path to follow for most of the route. Fields continue to be cultivated without the line of the path being re-instated. Much needed waymarks and fingerposts are missing. Essentially nothing has changed since the previous report here on 2 October 2015.
A new problem features a ‘Keep Out’ sign and an electric fence wire draped across the track on Bridleway 22 at the point where it leaves the Cockley Cley road at the corner of Old Larch Wood. (The correct line of this track should also head towards the arrow in the picture.)
Not far away Footpath 23 which leaves the byway from Shingham to Langwade Green and heads towards Oxborough is obstructed by growing crops, and the gate onto the path is choked with vegetation. At the far end of the path the fingerpost pointing back towards Shingham and Beachamwell has been snapped off. I wonder how that happened?
There are 140,000 miles of pathways across England and Wales, and The Ramblers say that 86,000 problems were reported on England’s paths alone last year. As we see above some local landowners and farmers are happy to maintain access to the rights of way that cross their land. Nevertheless we are not completely free of problems here in Beachamwell. However it’s good to see that Beachamwell Parish Council takes an active role in following up reports of problems. We look forward to being able to record further instances of work to remove obstructions and make our local network of paths more accessible.