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September 2023

From nettles to nasties - rubble warning

The footpaths maintenance group have been doing their best to keep nettle growth down. Thanks to those involved. It is an ongoing battle. CB placed an article in Link-Up to encourage walkers to snip along the way and asking landowners with adjacent paths to keep overgrowth from their properties clear.

The section of footpath 22 which remains open,( northern end currently closed due to building work at High House farm) along with the adjoining section of footpath 37 put in place due to the closure, has been reported to enforcement. This is due to hazardous rubble being placed along what was previously green field pathways.

The landowner in this same area is also being contacted regarding crops totally blocking footpaths 20/22/23 and 36.

The section of footpath 13 which runs across the back of Brook Farm TC from Stapleford Road is totally overgrown again with nasty brambles and thistles. Previously managers/owners have insisted they clear this themselves. We have unsuccessfully tried to make contact so have passed this to enforcement.

On a positive note the derelict bridge on footpath 20 on the section which leads from Bournbridge Lane northbound has been replaced. Unfortunately the aforesaid crops prevent access to the beautiful walks over the bridge due to head height maize and no cross field walkway.

Large trees across footpath 33 which runs behind the Top Oak Pub to Nupers Hatch have been cleared.

Autumn jobs for the maintenance team will include clearing dying vegetation to widen paths again. Replacing waymarker posts knocked down in harvesting and adding waymarker posts to help identify routes.

June 22 2023

Summer activities catch-up

At the moment I only have one other person confirm availability for Thursdays planned session. Rather than cancel another session I plan to do an orientation walk. These walks are extremely important in checking and listing defects and blockages.

I have requested the small works party linked to Essex ramblers carry out the vegetation clearance that we have been unable to do.

I have also written another article for Link Up trying to take a different angle in seeking more help locally. As the world has opened up we are in need of a larger team to build capacity and ensure the spread of workload so we can all also ‘Have and enjoy a life”! We also have a number of our original team who are willing but unable due to health or injury to take part. At the moment we only have 5 active members of the team and we desperately need more.

Thanks everyone for what you do and give no matter how large or small is very much appreciated.

Attached a couple of clearance pictures from our groups recent work. Thanks to the team that assisted on PROW 25.

April 2023

As we approach May, work is already starting on our footpaths.

I have met and done an orientation walk with our new contacts with West Essex Ramblers who have the capacity for the heavier maintenance work.

They have already been at work along footpath 4 and the link 31 behind the church.

I will send out some dates for our group soon for general vegetation maintenance work initially along 33 and 25. Does anyone have any preferred times and days. I am aware all our schedules have got busy since the world opened up.

If anyone is no longer available to commit to the group, please let me know, similarly if you know of any additions. I am aware of a few injuries and health matters preventing active participation at the moment, so no need to respond if this applies and you wish to participate long term. Thanks in advance for everyone’s support.


2023 work plan - Happy New Year.

I have been doing more site walks with Brian and we have plans for 2023.

Work was due to start today, but unfortunately the weather stopped play so hopefully next week.

For those of you who enjoy visiting the smallholding on footpath 20 with the exceptionally dangerous virtually non existent stiles, you will be happy to see these on the repair list attached.

Brian is leading the work so all works are at his convenience which is Tuesday 9am through to about 2pm.

If anyone would like to join please let me know and I can liaise with Brian to let you know exactly where the team/s will be working on that day.

In the back ground I have been liaising with relevant landowners regarding works to be carried out and liaising with the enforcement officer re blockages on paths 33/27/5 and cross field paths which have not been marked.

For those who have recently walked 33 you will see an official notice has now been posted on the gate and fence.

27 is proving interesting as the gate remains closed at the travellers site. The enforcement officer has spoken to residents at the site and has managed to find that the land owner is a registered address in London so is trying to make contact regarding legal access along the route. This could take time but actions are in place.

Farmers are being given 2 weeks after crop planting to mark cross field paths, many are still fallow and /or unplanted ( is that a word?)

Followupo…Good afternoon everyone.

A couple of weeks of maintenance has had to be cancelled due to weather but the team are due out again tomorrow.

If anyone would like to join please see work schedule attached.

I know those who have ben walking over the past few weeks have experienced a massive difference in the width and accessibility of the paths.

We are also at that time of year where we have to put in our bid for any spends to be drawn down during the year.

I am going to focus on the same as last year, small tools, such as secateurs for people to carry when walking for ongoing trimming, way markers, discs and sharpies for keeping markers clear and up to date as new posts etc go in where rotten or missing posts are replaced, glues, adhesives, gloves etc.

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October 2022

Autumn clearance and plans for the week

A picture tells the story here. The merry band of path clears have been out again. The current project is to clear a well needed route, PROW 27, from Oak Hill Road to Tysea Hill by the golf course without having to negotiate the dangerous main road which for most of the route has no public footpath.

The clearance is partially completed, with finger post at Oak Hill Road restored, Essex in the background working with the landowner for a cross field path, and the stile midway now clear of overgrown brambles. Next stage next week is to identify the route and exit on Tysea Hill , mark the northerly section of the path and clear the overgrowth around existing marker posts. Well done team.

Footpath report September 2022

A round-up for the Parish Council Meeting

The footpath volunteer team has been reduced in number due to a number of ailments and health issues. We have advertised in Link Up in August for extra help. Anyone at the meeting wanting to help please contact Catherine.

Good news is we have been receiving assistance in the background. I have been working with two people in particular to build capacity beyond the volunteers.

The person at Essex responsible for field cross ways ( paths across farmers fields) has been very proactive and these are all now marked.

I am also working directly with the person who leads the large maintenance work and we hope to have another 5 broken bridges mended in the near future.

Volunteers have managed regular vegetation maintenance and most paths are and have been accessible throughout the summer.

Work is due to start on Path 27 which takes walkers from Oak Hill Road by the village boundary through to the golf club avoiding the road.

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June 30 2022

Path clearance: the new workout.

Path 14 which runs from path 12 adjacent to Michelle’s farm on Gutteridge Lane through to the rear of Brook TC is now nettle clear thanks to our merry band of volunteers.

This path joins path 13 midway where you can head north on path 13 across the back of Brook TC or head east towards Nupers Hatch via path 15.

Our thanks to Brook Farm TC who carried out a clearance project last Autumn and put in some sturdy new stiles. Please when using this section respect any event and keep noise to a minimum so as not to spook the horses. Thanks in advance. Great fun and lots of calories burnt. Thank you to all our volunteers for helping keeping our paths open for all to enjoy.

June 2022

Stapleford Abbotts Footpath Volunteer Action Group SAFVAG

SAFVAG was formed just over a year ago. The groups works in conjunction with Essex Highways and our own Parish Council to maintain our village public rights of way PROWs to keep them accessible. The group is made up of volunteers who aim to have fun, exercise and carry out a public service at the same time.

The 2022 maintenance programme has now started and the battle against the nettles, weeds and fallen trees after the winter storms is now in action.

This week footpaths PROW 25 and 33. PROW 25 from Oak Hill Road opposite The Top Oak opens up to some lovely walks linking to Havering with stunning views of London. PROW 33 acts as a perfect cut through from the back of the Top Oak through to walks to the north of the village at Nupers Hatch or to Tysea Hill avoiding the roads.

We are always looking for more volunteers. Contact Catherine P3 lead or the parish clerk if you would like to join us.

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April 2022 Update

Stapleford Abbotts Footpaths - This Spring

Footpaths – paperwork submitted so the team can draw down funds. New equipment to come. New PROW (public rights of way) officer is Scott Thompson, Shirley Anglim is now head of PROW. ST to meet the footpaths team and take orientation walk. Path

22 is a big project which will need his support, small projects being cleared off first. Appeal is up for new helpers, as some regular volunteers are managing longterm physical issues so cannot undertake heavy work.

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Update January 2022

Starting the year with plans for our footpaths

Pre Christmas a small group with their families cleared a 4 meter section on path 25 which had become difficult to pass without ripping clothing, our thanks to the group and their families. Our thanks also to Brook Farm TC who have finished replacing stiles, which whilst not kissing gates are accessible in that they are no higher than walking up your stairs and have supports for assistance. I will organise a thank you card to send to them.

In the next couple of weeks I plan to draft an action plan for 2022, withfootpath20, from Oak Hill Road up to the school being a main priority. It will involve new stiles as well as signposting and is a beautiful and interesting walk. We also need to start looking at the west of the village with walks beyond the church towards Passingford Bridge to open up a clear route which avoids the road from the Rabbits to Albyns Lane. That and keeping the vegetation down, we have lots to keep us occupied.

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Footpath Report September Meeting 2021

Summer into autumn, 2021

- A few members of the team have been out labelling again, whilst on general walks.

- I have asked the Localism Officer about dates for the brush cutter course. It is a 2 day course in September and

she advises its someone who regularly attends the clearing sessions.

- A neighbour from Sundown, Bournebridge Lane, has kindly cleared an overgrown section of the western part

of footpath 20 which runs alongside their property. This opens into the fields between Bournebridge Lane and

Stapleford Road giving access to a beautiful set of walks, including up to the school via footpaths 23. (which

runs from Bournebridge Lane to the school) The eastern part of footpath 20 still remains an issue and I have

emailed the relevant person at highways, as the landowner has agreed for stile replacements through the small

holding, and we need the enforcement officer to contact Fieldend/ Ralwyn about their old fence and overgrown

vegetation encroaching over the path and creating a hazard, awaiting a reply. This section of the path enables

walkers to bypass a difficult section of road as it cuts the corner off, where cars speed both on Bournbridge Lane

and Oak Hill Road.

- I have suggested we do the newly opened up part of footpath 20 with the Localism Officer, as it will require

two way marker posts and not too much clearance. Localism Officer has been asked for a date for this.

- We also need a date to clear footpath 25 as the hawthorn has grown nearly over the path, near where the

miniature ponies, mule and horses are. I am suggesting 2.30pm Wednesday 1st September for this. It will be

1-2 hours tops, obviously quicker with a bigger team. I have prioritised this as you can only get through parts by

breathing in and walking sideways!

- I have emailed TC Brook Farm regarding the blocked path at the back of the menage and again awaiting a

response. I as good as said if we don’t hear from them we will clear it at our convenience, but lets give them

chance to reply. This will be a prickly one as the brambles have totally grown over at the back of the menage,

but is a key path and needs doing. I am suggesting Wed 15th September, 2pm again a Wednesday as I know a

couple of regular clearers can’t make Thursday.

- I have informed the Localism Officer about footpath 13 where we placed a disc on a white electric marker

post. The land owner has removed the disc, but has mended the gate and put a stile up, replacing the disc on the

new stile. Unfortunately the new stile is not accessible so has indirectly blocked the path which we cleared.

As a Parish Council we support the maintenance and enjoyment of the many Public Footpaths in and around the village. 

Watch this space for news about the footpaths and the work of the team that keep them clear, tidy and safe for all.

Stapleford Abbotts

Footpath Diary

Starting the summer season

Catching up after the winter

Plans, projects and progress