There’s good news and bad news

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.

Footpath 20 with good headland

Footpath 20 running beside the hedge at the right with a wide headland

At Green Drove the southern end has been cleared of blackthorn and other scrub which was seriously encroaching on this pleasant route.

Green Drove cleared of scrub

Green Drove cleared of scrub

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.

Bridleway 19a now improved

Bridleway 19a now improved

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.

Waymarker post knocked down and some way from the correct route of Footpath 10

Waymarker post knocked down and some distance from the correct route of Footpath 10

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.)

Bridleway 22 obstructed by Keep Out sign

Welcome to Bridleway 22

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?

Snapped off fingerpost on the path from Oxborough to Shingham

Snapped off fingerpost on the path from Oxborough to Shingham

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.

4 thoughts on “There’s good news and bad news

  1. Mike Walker

    Hi Philip, interesting and useful report. I’d be happy to join a working party to attach new waymarks, as we’ve noticed many instances of missing or faded markers around the parish.

  2. sue pennell

    I think it should be noted
    Bridleway 1 (running from the Beachamwell Road, parallel with Narborough Hill) at the junction with Footpath 4 the waymarker has been knocked over so walkers cannot see which way they legally may walk.
    Footpath 4 – there is no fingerpost on the A1122 and the field gate (beyond the track from the Warren Barn to the A1122) cannot be opened because of barbed wire – highly dangerous to all!
    Footpath 13 – the right of way across the field behind All Saints Way and Hall Barn is obstructed by fencing for horses, and also the gates (erected by the Norfolk County Council) at either end of the ‘garden’ of Hall Barn is also illegally obstructed and is impossible to walk.

  3. Philip

    Thanks for this Sue. These problems are included on the Map on this site and I expect that I will be writing about them in more detail in due course.


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