MAINTAINING LOCAL FOOTPATHS
Between 9th January and 26th March 2019 the White Cliffs volunteer working party has made 20 notableaccess improvements in East Kent. They have installed 16 self-closing metal gates, 2 metal kissing gates and 2 timber stile kits. Three landowners contributed to the cost of 8 gates and four were extremely grateful to accept assistance from donor funding. A generous donation from Canterbury Ramblers part funded 2 of the self-closing metal gates and purchased 1 stile. The East Kent Rambling Club (affiliated to Ramblers) part funded 1 gate. A further donation from Ted and Jill Roche, long standing members of White Cliffs Group helped to fund 2 metal gates. Their gates are sited in an area with glorious views across open countryside and bear plaques with their name. None of this work would have been possible without generous subsidies towards the costs of the gates from Kent County Council plus the use of their off-road truck for carrying gates, materials and tools throughdifficult terrain to the location of the work. Areas of work included Guston, Lower Hardres, Waltham and Bridge.In addition, eleven out of repair stiles were removed and replacedwith self- closing gates, transforming countryside access for walkers in Swingfield Street (Dover). This has created a large footpath network in the vicinity that is completely free of stiles.
The local parish invited Averil Brice (Kent Area Footpath Maintenance Officer) to be guest speaker at their coffee morning on 9th March. After hearing about the charitable work of Ramblers they expressed their gratitude to those who worked so hard to improve their paths. Many were unaware that Ramblers has a network of volunteers keeping a protective eye on their precious asset.
These access improvements, including Jill and Ted's gates, will be enjoyed by walkers for years to come.
Photo of Jill and Ted Roche with one of the gates they have donated. Accompanied by White Cliffs Chairman Margaret Lubbock, John Polden and Steve Brice (gate installers) Olive Polden and Kent Area Press Officer Graham Smith