Ross-on-Wye Protecting Footpaths
Just south of Ross the PROW in question passes through the grounds of a large house, Cubberley House, that for some time was the home of the singer/songwriter Roger Whittaker. The section of path that passes near Cubberley House has three stiles, two small gates where the PROW crosses the drive to the house, and a standard footbridge over a ditch.
Back in March the new owners suddenly blocked the path by erecting 8ft by 4ft sheets of plywood on two of the stiles, removing the footboard from the third stile, welding shut the two small gates, and removing completely the footbridge. There then ensued a battle with obstructions being removed and re-erected and the ditch being dredged deeper and wider.
The problems were reported to Herefordshire Council who served Enforcement Notices. These were ignored and the case progressed to the point of Court proceedings. Just prior to the Court proceedings a protest demonstration was organised by the group set up to reclaim the path. This took place on a Sunday morning in mid-July. About 130 people turned up and the very orderly demonstration involved everyone walking the path. A temporary bridge supplied by the organisers was put in place over the ditch, one of the obstructed stiles had a section of fence removed so people could pass through. The other stile had its footboard replaced and the welding on the two small gates had been cut away so they could be opened.
About two weeks later, the bridge over the ditch was replaced in its entirety and cemented in place, the welded gates are fully operational and all stiles have been rebuilt.
No-one knows how or why this has suddenly happened so Ross are keeping a close eye on things.
The photograph shows the new bridge which was imperative for crossing the wide ditch.
Well done Ross-on-Wye