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Wednesday October 17th 2018

A new Kissing Gate in Bletchingley

East Surrey Walkers, the local Ramblers Group, have recently improved another local walking route by funding and installing a kissing gate to replace an awkward stile in Bletchingley. Due to budgetary constraints, Surrey County Council are presently unable to provide gates to replace broken or awkward stiles so East Surrey Walkers have provided the necessary funds and their volunteer Path Maintenance Work Party, known as ‘Ken’s Krew’, did the spadework.

 The footpath is a popular local walking/dog walking route (running from Church Lane north of Clerks Croft to the continuation of Stychens Lane) and is regularly used as an Amble route by East Surrey Walkers. These 3 mile circular walks are particularly aimed at those who cannot manage longer walks or are recovering from illness or injury and also those new to walking who are not sure whether walking in a group is for them or indeed do not know how far they can walk.

 The landowner at Brewer Street Farm provided a tractor to pull out the old stile that had been fixed in concrete (thereby saving Kens Krew a lot of time and effort – thank you CF and Dave) and the new kissing gate was dug in. Other volunteers cleared back vegetation and reinstated the true line of the public right of way to follow the boundary fence with the golf course.

Di Nathan, who leads the Bletchingley Amble, commented “Some walkers in my group do find it difficult to climb over stiles, especially awkward ones like this one. Now it will be much easier for them and eliminates 1 of the 2 stiles on the route”. Di will be leading this Amble again on Monday 24 September, starting at 10.00am near the Bletchingley Arms and also on the 11th December.

Jeff Marks regularly leads slightly longer walks from Bletchingley – generally north of the A 25 – and various other members of ESW lead walks from Bletchingley taking in routes south of the A25 to incorporate part of the Greensand Way and the Castle Hill round, South Park and its vicinity.  Walk programmes (for each quarter of the year) can be viewed at the beginning of each quarter on the ESW /Ramblers website.

 photos by John Nathan

Footnote : Although the Parish Council has its own team of volunteers who can undertake minor tasks on footpaths, sometimes greater manpower/tool power is needed as was the case here.

Pat Glenn Parish Councillor with responsibility for footpaths.