A plan for a new footpath linking Long Wittenham and Clifton Hampden has been frustrated.
The idea came from Tom Bowtell, a former chairman of the Parish Council. It would have used footpaths to the weir at the end of the Thames backwater, crossing over it to Clifton Hampden Cut Island, and linking from there to the Thames Path near Clifton Hampden.
However, the owners of the island, who live in West Hagbourne, have said that they are opposed to the new path, citing concerns about disturbance to grazing animals.
Tom Bowtell, whose plan was supported by the Parish Council, described the refusal by the owners as disappointing. He said he understood the island owners’ concerns about possible disturbance to grazing animals, but the Parish Council was prepared to install fencing to separate pedestrians from the animals.
The new path would have been part of a circular walk between Clifton Hampden and Long Wittenham using the proposed new cycle/pedestrian path from the Barley Mow car park to the village.
so all the fisherman that drive onto that land donot disturb the cattle ,what an absolute joke that route across would have been the safest and ideal route for cyclists and walkers,Absolute b,,,s,,,
Can we urge the landowners to reconsider – this path will make an enormous difference to the residents of LW and CH and provide a safe means of people being able to get to and from without having to negotiate the dangerous, fast road when on foot. It would open up freedom for so many and I know the PC will work with the landowners to make it work for them. They are considerate and thoughtful and none of us will want to disturb the cattle – surely there is a way to make this work for all with the use of fencing and signage and good communication?
That’s a real shame – thank you Tom for your hard work.
Do the Parish Council have access to the covenants to the land? As far as I know a lot of the land along the Thames has covenants that concern rights of way across the land. Presumably the Environment Agency already have some agreement from when the weir was created.
Hopefully a solution could be found as it would definitely be a good alternative to the road.
Gordon Rogers, chairman of Long Wittenham Parish Council said the community was disappointed that the owners of the Island were not prepared to allow access to the Island. The proposed path would have opened up a new walking route to Clifton Hampden, adding to a network of paths in the area for people to enjoy. If, however, the owners of the Island are adamant in refusing access there is nothing the council can do. The council said it was prepared to consider paying for fencing over the Island to protect grazing animals but this offer was also rejected. Another issue involved access over the weir and public safety considerations. The council would have had to sought the permission from the Environment Agency which operates the weir.