News from the Walkers, Riders and Cyclists Group
Good news for riders and walkers
The Byway which goes from the end of Elm Lane by the racecourse all the way across the fields and through a spinney to Knowle Rock has now been cleared of fallen trees and undergrowth and the surface re-laid. The Walkers riders and cyclist group did the first part within our Parish and Somerset County Council has now done the rest! It is now easily accessible for everyone so please enjoy it!!
The group has now had 17 working days in total with at least 6 - 8 volunteers on each day and sometimes more! We had our last day on Saturday 25th April 2015 when we finished all the improvements we are able to do. Many are now accessible for dogs. A few remaining stiles are to be improved by landowners this year when other fencing work is carried out.
We had another village walk on 2nd January 2015. Thirty eight people came and the walk started from St Stephen’s church. The walk went over the fields to Bayford and then came back on another route back to the church. Mulled wine, sausage rolls and mince pies were served afterwards in the village hall.
The Stourhead Estate has cleared vegetation in the forest beyond the bridleway at New Park Farm and laid a temporary surface whilst timber extraction is going on in the area. Once the work
has finished, damage caused by the big trucks will be repaired. This will hugely improve the riding access into the Selwood forest and beyond
SCC have continued putting up new finger posts by the roadsides.
We have re-marked the Monarch’s Way, the long distance footpath which goes through our parish from Brickhouse Farm via Parsonage Lane and across fields by Rectory Lane towards Wincanton.
We have put up NFU signs regarding dogs on footpaths at each end of the footpaths in our parish and waymarked all rights of way.
The group has started work on a circular walks leaflet to be distributed to the villagers. A leaflet reminding everyone about the Countryside Code will be sent at the same time. We also aim to have an information board, possibly sited in the hall car park, along with dry leaflet dispensers. We may even produce an app!
To facilitate this work, we applied for a grant and were awarded £400 from Somerset County Councillor Anna Groskop’s Health and Wellbeing grant. The Parish Council has also awarded us £300 from this year’s precept. We are currently costing this work and can then apply for a delegated grant of up to £750 from SSDC.
The Walkers Riders and Cyclist volunteer group have had a very busy year mending and improving the stiles in the parish. We have had twelve volunteer working days and not once did we get wet!! That was until November when we met up to clear our only Byway and it rained hard enough to make up for the 12 dry days and we all got soaked! However it is now all clear for riders to get though and Somerset Council are shortly clearing the byway outside our parish to enable access right through to Knowle Rock and Stoney Stoke.
Sir Cameron Mackintosh has also cleared and massively improved our onlybridleway which gives villagers access to a whole network of riding bypermit through the Stavordale Estate and Stourhead Western Estate. We hope,if all goes well, to finish the stile mending by the end of the year.
Thank you so much to all our landowners who have been fantasticallysupportive in allowing us to make walking in the village so much easier and more enjoyable. Most of our paths are now also easily accessible for dogs.Please keep your dog under close control as it can scare or harm farm animals. Please also remember that all dogs should be regularly wormed to prevent harmful parasites being passed to farm livestock and also clear up after your dog.
The group has decided to continue by designing and printing a leaflet of circular walks in the village next year. This will be circulated throughout the village and be available at our village hall and on the village website. We are currently applying for grants to cover our costs and hope to start planning early in the New Year.
If you would like to join the group to help with this please contact Sally Amery on 01963 31330 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Refurbishment of stiles
October 2013 - December 2014
The Village Walk
Friday 3rd January 2014
Well, in spite of the weather, which couldn’t have been worse, 33 determined villagers and 6 keen dogs with wagging tails came along to brave the elements for the village walk. We set off from the hall in driving rain across the fields from Somerlea to Barrow Lane with the views towards the forest lost in the low cloud. One family with 3 small children went home from Barrow Lane to warm up the little ones but returned later for the mince pies. Another admitted defeat as coats weren’t up to the onslaught but the rest ploughed on in amazingly good spirits and were rewarded with the sun coming out as we returned over the fields further on. We all then steamed gently in the meeting room re-vitalised with several bottles of mulled wine and a non-stop supply of sausage rolls and mince pies.
So thank you all very much for coming along and supporting the walk. Many asked for a repeat performance – hopefully with better weather – so as soon as we have repaired some more stiles we will plan another one!