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Windmill Woods Fence

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Posted · Report post

I have been walking dogs for 15 years and was horrified at the recent erection of a fence, restricting access through the woods at the back of Windmill Woods. The pathway leads onto Chiltern Rugby Club, but it has always been used as an access to the back end of Hervines Wood and the public footpath at the rear of the pitch. I am curious to know why the fence is there, and whether in fact it is legal to obstruct a path which has never previously been closed in any way.

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Posted · Report post

Hi

I copy below the content of an email to the Weedon Lane Residents Association. Disappointingly, the reason for the fence is dog walkers allowing their dogs to excrete on the rugby pitches; this is a real shame as residents are now not able to access the woods from Windmill Wood for the sake of the inconsiderate actions of some dog walkers.

I do have sympathy with the Rugby Club on this one (although their signage is at best described as half hearted), letting a dog excrete on a pitch used by children is disgusting behavior and those who have permitted their dogs to do so should be ashamed of themselves. I would have expected much better from the dog walking residents of Amersham.

"Thank you for your email, I know Peter has a number of work commitments at present so wanted to get you a speedy response.

Firstly, we do understand the concern raise the neighbour in Windmill Wood, and it is our desire to keep the club as a community facility.

As you know we have been experiencing an increasing number of dog walkers on our land, and their inability to either control their animals and / or clean up after them, has resulted in faeces being left on the pitches. So far this season we have had three medical issues reported to us which are mostly likely as a result of players coming into contact with faeces. Additionally we have also experienced other forms of vandalism inkling fly tipping and vehicles being driven across the site causing damage.

Our signage is constantly ignored, and has previously been ripped down, therefore we decided to engage directly, the most recent attempt was by Peter himself, when he stopped and spoke to several dog walkers, a number of whom were responsive and co-operative, however a significant number were actually verbally abusive, which has left us with the conclusion, that there a number of dog walkers who will not respond positively.

Given this conclusion, unfortunately the club has no choice but to take whatever action it can to create a healthy and safe environment for those playing sport, we have been in discussions with the owners of land that sits between Windmill Wood and Ash Grove and is adjacent to our land, they have expressed there wish to secure the site as they have suffered fly tipping and other vandalism.

Therefore with their agreement we taken action to secure both our properties, both at Ash Grove and Windmill Wood. We do not intend at this stage to secure the boundaries from the lower woods alongside the railway and/or the forestry commission land on the far side of property.

Let me reiterate our desire to create community facilities, but noting health and safety is our priority, if only the dog walkers had all taken a reasonable and constructive approach, the actions of those few who clearly didn't, would not be affecting the large number who behave appropriately.

regards,"

Regards

Spanner

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Posted · Report post

I agree totally that dog owners should not leave their dog's faeces ANYWHERE, and there are other measures which could be taken. I still question the legality of placing a fence over a pathway which has been used unobstructed for over 15 years and which provides access to a public footpath. (Does the local council have an opinion)? If the policy is to react in this way, let us hope that the few bad drivers who attend the club, parking across driveways and on footpaths and speeding in a 30 mph area, causing a serious health and safety problem, don't lead to an access or parking ban.

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Posted · Report post

If parked cars cause obstruction, that is an enforceable 'crime' as is speeding and the police could take action.

Looking at local maps, I can't see that there is any 'footpath' marked in this area. There are loads of Rights of Way round Amersham area which can't be blocked willy nilly, but many regularly used paths which are marked on the map are 'Permissive' only.

If you think that a 'permissive footpath' has been created by regular usage, contact your County Councillor or The Rights of Way Officer at Bucks CC.

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Posted · Report post

Thanks for your suggestion - I will definitely contact Bucks CC. Just for info - there are yellow arrows which I believe indicate footpaths in the woods at the back of the rugby pitch. It is possible to walk along the public footpath from Copperkins Lane, through the farmer's field into the woods and eventually circle round, back into the woods at the back of the pitch. The whole route has official arrows!

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Posted · Report post

Thanks for your suggestion - I will definitely contact Bucks CC. Just for info - there are yellow arrows which I believe indicate footpaths in the woods at the back of the rugby pitch. It is possible to walk along the public footpath from Copperkins Lane, through the farmer's field into the woods and eventually circle round, back into the woods at the back of the pitch. The whole route has official arrows!

Related article in the Bucks Examiner here

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