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Keeping Access Open for All

This article has been reproduced from the Devon County Council P3 Newsletter with their kind permission. You can download the full newsletter together with the Devon Countryside Access Forum Newsletter at the bottom of the page.

Hawkchurch – keeping access open for all

It has been a busy 12 months for Roz Fox, P3 co-ordinator for Hawkchurch.

The parish covers a large physical area and contains many footpaths and bridleways.  This year there have been significant works undertaken to make routes more accessible for all to use.  Footpath 12 has seen immense improvements which included three stiles being swapped to kissing gates (with the landowners’ permission), a sleeper bridge refurbished, several trees cut and cleared and minor drainage works being undertaken to reduce surface mud.  Roz worked with local landowners to gain permission to access the footpath at various points by crossing fields.  DCC framework contractor, Chris Drake of Garden and Countryside Maintenance based at Newton Poppleford, undertook the work on this rather long, complex path.

The work did not stop there, on footpath 16 Roz spied a bridge that was undercut following severe bank erosion and arranged for another DCC framework contractor, Allan Tyson, to replace the bridge after working with a local landowner to gain access down a steep field. 

The third bridge was on the Devon/Somerset border and required tact, diplomacy and lots of community spirit. With the help of Chris Drake and his team together with permission from local landowners, access was gained to install a large bridleway bridge when weather conditions prevailed.

The challenges of Hawkchurch continue but Roz’s spirits remain high, despite resorting to writing poetry about rights of way in the darkest moments!  A huge thank you to Roz for organising several excellent projects this year…….. just the matter of an unofficial diversion and maize to sort out now!  Oh joy!

Well, on that note, I would like to thank everyone for all their help with the Parish Paths Partnership scheme. It has been a challenging year but good to see lots done.

If you have any outstanding work that you need help completing, please do get in touch and we can help you make it happen.

Best wishes and thank you from all in Devon County Council’s Public Rights of Way team

Read the full newsletters – Devon County Council P3 Newsletter and Devon Countryside Access Forum Newsletter:

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