Cropped Path Success
Last November we reported to Swindon Council a public footpath across a field that had been sown with oil seed rape and through which the farmer had made no attempt to indicate the line of the path or keep it clear of the crop. Since then, the Council have inspected the path and a number of others in the surrounding area which were also cropped on several occasions. In April, when the oil seed rape was over a metre tall and in flower (see first photo) the Council took action. They served eight legal notices on landowners or farmers for eight public footpaths obstructed by cereals and oil seed rape in nine separate fields giving them a week to clear and reinstate the paths. All of those paths were cleared within the required time (see second photo). Due to the history of those landowners and farmers the Council is also considering a prosecution in the Magistrates Court, which could result in fines up to £4,000 as well as payment towards the Council’s costs.
This shows that reporting of such problems by The Ramblers can achieve results; we thank the Council’s Rights of Way Manager and his colleagues for the action taken.
|Oilseed Rape Before
||Oilseed Rape After
||Oilseed Rape Inadequate Clearance
Pictures courtesy of Swindon Borough Council.