Ramblers Membership Data Trial 12th March -15th April
As part of the Ramblers Data Transformation Programme we have been asked by Central Office to trial a number of proposed new systems.
During the above dates we shall be trialling a new data register system on all Ramblers walks.
This simply involves each walker, member or not, reporting to the walk leader or designated person at the start of each walk included in the trial.
To speed up and simplify the process please have your membership card to hand or your membership number stored on your mobile phone.
It is considered best practice by the Ramblers to complete a register at the start of all walks and the new digital system will simplify this process.
Your co-operation and support during this trial will be much appreciated and walk leaders involved will be briefed during the weekend of 9-11th March.
Future of Lydiard Park
The Ramblers regrets Swindon Borough Council’s decision not to proceed with the transfer of responsibility for Lydiard House and Park to the Lydiard Park Heritage Trust. Although the Council has committed to continue to look after the Park, the continuing year-on-year reductions to the Council’s overall budget, coupled with their poor track record of protecting other heritage assets (Mechanics Institute, Health Hydro) gives us great concern. The Friends of Lydiard Park (with the support of the Trust) had set out 11 “red lines” which must not be crossed, including the continuation of free public access to the Park, ongoing maintenance and repair of the House and Park and opposition to any developments within or close to the Park which would damage its essential setting. The Ramblers supports these red lines and will continue to closely monitor the Council’s actions regarding the Park.
Blackthorn Lane to be re-opened
We have received a very welcome Christmas present from the Planning Inspectorate in the form of a decision to confirm the order adding Blackthorn Lane, the path that runs between Whitworth Road cemetery and the gardens of houses in Kennet Avenue, to the definitive map. This follows a local inquiry at the end of November at which our footpath secretary, Peter Gallagher, presented the case for the order. Kennet Avenue residents objected.
This marks the successful culmination of 3 years work by the Seven Fields Conservation Group and ourselves after Swindon Borough Council closed the path in 2014. They should never have done so, as research revealed that the Council had concluded as long ago as 1990 that the path had acquired public right of way status as a result of regular use by the public. We expect the path to be re-opened in January.
Facebook - Introduction & Guidelines
As mentioned in our recent Newsletter some guidelines for using our Facebook page have now been created. These are intended to support existing members in using & publishing to Facebook but also provide an understanding of why we have a page and what needs to be considered when asking to or publishing new posts.
Any Questions please contact Keith our WebMaster.
Click Here for a copy of the Guidelines
Rights of Way Information - March 2017
Level Crossing Closures.
We are in discussion with Network Rail (NR) about their proposals to close or divert several footpaths which cross the railway because of electrification. At South Marston, the FP5 crossing will be replaced by a footbridge. The FP6 crossing will be closed and the path diverted to join FP5. We are content with these proposals. At Studley Grange, NR have applied to close the Studley West crossing (FP LTRE1) with no alternative provided. This footpath crosses the tracks at an oblique angle and is clearly unsafe; it has not been usable for a number of years. The Studley East crossing (FP LTRE5) is also unusable at present because of a temporary closure order. NR’s proposal here is to divert the footpath via the Hay Lane overbridge. We are awaiting more information before deciding whether to object. The church crossing at Great Bedwyn (FP GBED6) needs to be moved for a different reason; to allow NR to extend the siding to accommodate longer trains. The proposals for this crossing seem acceptable in principle; we await more details. You can let us know what you think about any of these proposals by contacting [Footpath Secretary e-mail address].
Highworth Neighbourhood Plan.
We were pleased to learn that the independent inspector who examined the draft neighbourhood plan for Highworth has endorsed the inclusion in the plan of the need to improve the rights of way network in several places around the town where it is necessary to walk along busy roads to get from one footpath to another. We will support the Town Council in seeking ways to achieve these improvements.