Diversions, etc

The modification order for the path from Milton Common to the middle of Waterstock Golf Course has been through the procedures and is awaiting decision.

The claim to upgrade Stonesfield BR6 (part of the Oxfordshire Way, opposite the bridleway to Charlbury) to byway, which would have meant cars being able to use it, has been rejected. The applicant, who put in the claim in order to get another vehicular access, no longer lives in the area.

The variation order on Newton Purcell BR15 has been confirmed and the correct line is now clear of jungle.

The cleared Newton Purcell BR15 The cleared Newton Purcell BR15 Photo: David Godfrey

The diversion order for the path at Haywards Close, Henley has been issued but has its compass points all mixed up and will have to be corrected.

We have recently been consulted on a claim for part of Charles I’s escape route in Wolvercote, crossing the A43 on the level (but since Pixey Mead is access land, people will use one of the underpasses instead); a proposed diversion to take a path out of a deer farm in West Challow (an improvement, as the proposed line is higher and drier); at Goring Heath, where two alternatives (one used for 30 years) have been proposed for a path through an industrial site; and at Highmoor, where it is proposed to move a path out of a garden with no facing windows to a route full of protruding tree roots.

Other Matters

A nice long walk is an excellent opportunity to do a spot of clearance along the way; to which end I decided to walk from Summertown to the memorial walk from Dorchester on June 29. The result is that the Roman Way is now clear from Blackbird Leys to Toot Baldon and from Marsh Baldon to Dorchester (the fallen tree I reported on an earlier visit was removed by OCC within three weeks). I have also been doing clearances when checking walk routes. On walks which I am not leading I often find myself turning into a one-man clearance team (which on one occasion turned into a two-man team when someone borrowed my second pair of secateurs).

After a number of complaints OCC have re-hung all the gates on Hampton Gay FP1 (which goes south-west from Bletchingdon) and the tripwire south of these should also be clear by now.

Cherwell District Council has decided to research their “ancient ways” in the hope of preventing them from being built over. The problem is identifying them; also it would be more economical to concentrate on sites at risk. At least 90% of definitive rights of way are shown on Ordnance Survey maps of the 1880s; how ancient is ancient?

David Godfrey