Tarvin Footpaths

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The Parish Council meeting held on Monday 18th May considered the following report from a local resident:
"Because of "lockdown" and the warm and dry April I have walked -- in most cases for the first time -- every footpath in the pre-2015 Parish of Tarvin.
I thought it might be useful to set out the problems which I noted while they are fresh in my mind so you can circulate this to Parish Councillors and inform the appropriate officials at Cheshire West and Chester Council for the time when remedial works can start again.

footpath, sign

I refer to the official footpath numbers as recorded on the Cheshire West and Chester interactive map on the internet using all the rights of way data layers; and for some of the points that I make you will need to zoom in to the maximum scale on the map. It zooms in to a very large scale.

Footpath 4 -- although there is a stile at each end of the relevant field, the course of this footpath from the road to Tarvin Mill across the field to the junction with Footpath 35 is obscure. I think the landowner probably wants to discourage use, taking the view that people can easily walk in front of the 8 industrial units at the back of the Mill. But that should not be the point. The course of the footpath over the field is taped off and near Footpath 35 there is a pile of manure blocking the obvious line of the path. This needs investigation and action.

Footpath 6 -- this is the very short path which continues the alignment of Footpath 5 and forms the base of a small triangle where Pool Lane and Barrow Lane join. The stiles at each end are complete inaccessible because of very dense brambles. I concede that it is not at all far to walk around the point of the triangle on the metalled roads but again that is not the point. It needs attention.

Footpath 19 -- this is the path joining Old Moss to the Tarporley Road across several fields. The stile at the halfway point of this path, and some surrounding fencing, has completely collapsed and needs to be re-erected. Also there should be a metal sign where the footpath leaves Platts Lane in Old Moss--and that could make it abundantly clear that the path runs in the narrow space between the two hedges.

Footpath 30 -- and it becomes Bruen Stapleford Footpath 7 -linking Platts Lane, Old Moss with Old Moss Lane. There is a metal sign in the correct place where the path leaves Platts Lane and also where it leaves Old Moss Lane. And there is a stile at the boundary of the two relevant properties--the Nurseries to the north and Rose Cottage on Old Moss Lane to the south. But the course of the footpath across the Nurseries has been totally defaced. There is a low wire mesh fence almost immediately after leaving the road, which can be surmounted with a little care. But then the course of the path is totally obscured by poly tunnels, long beds of plants and various debris. It is impossible to make out the course of the path. Similarly, at the other end, there needs to be more signposting so that walkers are assured they are not trespassing as the path now cuts right across the open plan garden of Rose Cottage. The landowner of the Nursery needs to be contacted to see whether he will agree to another route for the footpath being marked out.

Platts Lane, Hockenhull -- you know all about this most irksome interference with what, for Tarvin residents, is a very attractive circular walk. Is there any word from CWaC as to when this might be sorted?
In fairness, I must add that the great majority of paths are well signed and well maintained."

The meeting was aware of much of the above with footpaths 19 and 30 having already being referred to Cheshire West and Chester Council.
Prior to the meeting the report had been forwarded to the Public Rights of Way Officer who was working from home and self-isolating and he had reported that:

  • before lockdown the route at Okell's nursery was much improved, the hedge had been cut back and the surface cleared. He had agreed with the nursery to remove the stile as it was no longer needed and in a poor condition. He had said that he would install a waymark post but he had not managed to get round to this as yet but it was on his long list of practical jobs.
  • in terms of the other route through the nursery, the historic obstruction was still on his to do list.
  • the everyday issues seemed to take up the time as there were only two officers in the Borough, so historic issues always seemed to get pushed back due to the day to day issues.

The meeting noted that Platts Lane, referred to by the resident was no longer flooded as a consequence of some remedial work carried out. This means that a popular circular walk for residents has been re-established. More work is required and Council will continue to press for this but as with so many issues Covid-19 is slowing responses up.