PROW - DECEMBER PATH UPDATES
For once, there is effectively no "new news" to report on actual path changes, apart from some temporary closures. So I thought that I would let you know about a couple of other issues - very much related to our east Kent paths.
KCC Summer 2019 Cropping Campaign - were our paths properly restored?
More paths were checked across east Kent this year than last - 207 as opposed to 121. This tells me that KCC are taking things seriously, and listening to what people like us - though our path problem reports - tell them about which paths are at potentially more risk of not being restored across cropped fields. Overall the first time of inspection pass rate was 67.6%, or just over two-thirds. Marginally better than last year. But since these all were potentially "at risk" paths, the percentage of all paths restored is likely to have been significantly higher.
Also this year landowners appear to have responded a little quicker to being leant on, as it wasn't necessary to take any direct action to cut crops, and proportionally, fewer Section 137A Notices (instructions to take immediate action) needed to be issued. As for the Dover DC area alone, the first time pass rate went up from 42% to 68%, indicative of the good work that KCC Local Officer Heather Waller has been doing. Certain "notorious" paths in Guston and Ash failed yet again, but the Guston paths in particular were well done once they were restored. No paths were checked in our Shepway DC (where all were found to be OK in 2018) or Thanet DC parishes.
The worst offenders in the area were Staple EE183A and Stourmouth EE134, neither of which was restored at any point this summer/autumn. Which is why they both appear on the Ramblers Local FP Officers' "Long-Term & Serious issues" list. Incidentally, the Open Spaces Society are sponsoring a Ploughing Campaign this autumn. So if leaders (before 31/12/19) can supply me with details of paths unrestored across ploughed fields, I will pass them on to the OSS.
Hard surfacing of paths in Adisham Woods
Great controversy currently in Adisham, where there are new owners of some of the extensive woodland to the south-west of the village. They apparently want to "improve" the surface of some paths through the woods, including some PROW, by laying ash, clinker or the like (not tarmac) on the presently earth or grassy-surfaced tracks. The Parish Council is involved, but apparently specific planning permission is not needed. We will no doubt hear more of this in the coming months
Please note that the precise extent of any Temporary Closure can be viewed on the KCC Fault Reporting Website's map. Go to the key on the right, click the "TROs" box, and the route concerned will be highlighted in red.
Temporary closure of Saltwood HE345 - byway open to all traffic
The whole length of byway HE345, from Hythe Road at Pedlinge, south to the Aldington Road, is closed until next May at least due to surface problems.
Temporary closure of Sandgate footpaths HF8 and HF56
Closed until mid-January are: *HF8 - for its entire length between Military Road and its junction with footpathHF56. *HF56 - around the northern perimeter of Martello Tower No.6.
Meanwhile (issues referred to in previous updates)
Meanwhile the two claimed new routes near Knowlton Court, plus those atColdblow Woods, Ripple; also the proposed diversions at TumbleTye, Capel;Barville Road, Tilmanstone;Kingsdown (ER273)and Great Brooksend, Birchington, all remain live, but as mentioned above, there is no "new news" on them this month.
For more details of these and any other PROW issues, please contact Roger King on 01304 362730, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.