Footpath set back

The parish council s idea for a new footpath linking the village with Clifton Hampden has suffered another reverse. Landowners are opposed and without their permission the path plan looks doomed.

The original proposal for a path alongside the road between the villages fell  foul of county council spending cuts and problems with landowners. Attention switched to a countryside path from Wittenham via the weir and island land, linking up to the Thames path and on to Clifton Hampden bridge.

The parish council suggested fencing to separate the path from the field where crops are grown and animals graze. The Environment Agency was receptive to the idea but the land owners on either side of the weir are opposed, citing trespass, disturbance to animals and damage to existing fencing. The council is to investigate the Right to Roam legislation contained in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act of 2000.

But there s better news on another front. Work has been completed on improving a 500 metre stretch of the bridleway and cycle track linking Wittenham and Didcot between Moor Ditch and Bow Bridge on the B4106 road.

The national cycling charity Sustrans was approached by the Wittenham Vision group and agreed to fund the  41,000 project. The parish council contributed  200 for fencing improvements. The refurbished section includes a non-slip surface for horses.

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