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Footpath closure concerns raised

Is there a danger some footpaths will disappear following the foot-and-mouth outbreak? The issue is being debated in the 'Have Your Say' section.

Hertfordshire County Council has been opening local footpaths and bridleways at the rate of 50 a day since restrictions were eased but there are still many no-go areas across the region.

Recently Hertfordshire invited the public to inform the council if they thought a path should be considered for re-opening.

Now a number of messages to this site's 'Have Your Say' section raise concerns about whether some paths might never re-open. If a path is not used for a certain period they cease to be considered a right-of-way.

One correspondent said that he had tried to walk the bridleway from North Mymms Church to South Mimms three weekends running only to find it cordoned off.

He questioned whether there was a valid reason for the route to remain closed.

Another correspondent suggested that some landowners have, in the past, tried to illegally block footpaths.

I can well imagine a number of these landowners hope that if footpaths are closed for long enough they will fall into disuse, in which case they can apply for them to be closed for good. When the footpaths reopen we must ensure they continue to be used. If not, there is a risk that a freedom to enjoy open space, which has existed for generations, will be lost, he wrote.

Another said there is no evidence to suggest walkers have spread foot-and-mouth and suggested some farmers are colluding to keep foot paths closed for as long as they can.

May 30, 2001


Recent News
Path re-opening plan - ramblers consulted- May 27, 2001
Gobions Open Space re-opens- May 22, 2001
Parish council challenged over Gobions- May 19, 2001
Dog owners urged to clear up mess - April 23, 2001
Footpath reopening plan back on track - April 21, 2001
'Saboteurs' halt footpath opening plan - April 17, 2001
Foot-and-mouth ban challenged - April 11, 2001
Gobions Wood to stay open - April 1, 2001
Gobions Open Space closed - March 24, 2001
County council closes all footpaths - March 4, 2001
Foot-and-mouth restrictions increased - March 2, 2001
Foot-and-mouth restrictions spread - February 27, 2001
Foot-and-mouth plea to ramblers - February 23, 2001


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