23 March 2018More Fence Repairs
Yesterday, 22nd March, we repaired fencing on the adjacent field to the Sledging Field.
As was mentioned during the recent AGM, by looking at the photos under you can see the extent of damage done by people breaking through fences on private land. This is not part of SOSFrome land, nor is it on a public footpath. We have to repair the vandalism as this area is part of the cattle-grazing arrangement between 4 landowners. It seems that some people think that if a path, or land under a gate is muddy, they are entitled to cut and break down a fence because they are not wearing suitable footwear. Until the Sustrans path is extended, the only public way through this fence is through the wooded kissing gate.
Today, in order to strengthen it to restrain cattle, we also repaired fencing round the cottage at the top of the big field next to the Ramblers-sponsored kissing gate.
Cut and trampled fencing between Whatcombe Farm's and Low Water Farm's fields.
"Informal footpath" forced through the trampled fencing.
Detail of fencing wire deliberatly cut. WHY?
Repaired area, gate tied back in the hope no-one else decides they have priority over private property and re-cuts the wire. JY & IM
18 March 2018Update on New Wood Fence to Cooper Hall's Field
As anticipated, evidence here that people have climbed through the new fence to access Cooper Hall's field. At least so far no attempt to wreck the structure.
16 March 2018Sue Everett Radio Interviews.
Some of those present at the AGM this week 14th March 2018 were interested in listening to Sue's interviews with the two Johns who worked on farms post-war and into the 1950s. The interviews were recorded at Frome FM and can be listened to on line:
https://soundcloud.com/sue-everett or by clicking on the menu at left "RADIO INTERVIEWS SUE E."
The countryside was a very different place then. Flower-rich meadows and cornfields were the norm. And the land was heaving with lapwings, curlews and corncrakes. Many today have what is called 'generational amnesia' - an ever shifting baseline where nature is increasingly diminished in knowledge and memory. We need to hang on to what we have left!
14 March 2018New Wooden Fence Section
Today Ian M. and I installed the short wooden fence section above. This is so that cattle cannot move through this gap from the SOS big field to the field belonging to Cooper Hall without going via the gate at the bottom of the field, which will be locked and unlocked as required by the grazier.
Despite many attempts to repair the section of wire fence previously there by the large tree in the fence, people constantly damaged it by stretching and trampling in order to pass between the two fields.
This piece of fence is not on a public footpath. The only public footpath within the Cooper Hall field is the one from the kissing at the corner of the A362 and Jacks Lane, signed down to the stile at the previously flooded area.
19 February 2018Two new gates
On Monday 19th February Ian M. and I installed two new field gates.
One is next to the new Stratford gate at the entrance to the Sledging Field from the Low Water end and the other is next to the stile between the Sledging Field and the field owned by Whatcombe Farm. Both gates will be able to be held open or closed to allow better control of the cattle grazing and also, we hope, to prevent similar vandalism which required the previous gates to be replaced.
Although not on SOSWF land, the wooden kissing gate base between Whatcombe Farm's Field and that of Low Water Farm has been filled with aggregate by the contractor of Somerset CC Rights Of Way, which will help particularly when the path is wet. Again, perhaps vandalism of the fence on both sides of this gate will be diminished thereby.
Thanks due to the SCC Area Paths Warden for her swift organisation. Jimm.
12 January 2018Stratford gate replaces iron rail stile
Yesterday Ian M. and I dismantled the extremely old and rather awkward iron rail stile at the lower entrance to the Sledging Field. We replaced it with a Stratford gate, see "before and after" pictures below. This will make access much easier when a new field gate is installed, as it should be chained when required to control the grazing régime when the cows return to us around the start of March 2018.
The gate was given to us by our area Somerset C.C. paths warden, as this gateway is part of a public footpath (no:FR20/10). Jimm Y-->
Entrance to SOS "Sledging Field.
Exit to individually owned field.
10 January 2018Permissive Path
Today I fixed "Permissive Path" waymarks on the two new kissing gates at the top of the big field alongside the A362.
This is to indicate to walkers that we are happy that the route is used, as if one has not been there before, it is not obvious that there are two gates. Whilst doing so I met a gentleman with a dog who had actually walked outside alongside the road, as he had started to come into Frome before I fixed the second waymark.
He said it had been a while since coming that way, and was delighted to see that two gates were now in place.
We have decided to leave it like that unless there appears to be a good reason for asking Somerset County Council to take over responsibility for this path by declaring it a Public Footpath.
Of course within the three SOS Whatcombe Fields are we do not expect walkers to keep to the designated paths, but in the adjacent individually owned fields the public footpaths and the unfinished Sustrans metalled way should be used.