Firm steps in to keep Saltford and Keynsham footpaths open

Published on: 04 Dec 2014

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A network of footpaths crossing farmland around Saltford that was closed last year has been reopened after a local firm stepped in with funding.

In April, farmer Adam Stratton posted notices that the permissive paths previously open to the public would be closed after the Government withdrew the funding it gave to farmers to compensate for loss of farming land and maintenance of the paths.

Walkers, horse riders and dog owners attended a packed public meeting hosted by Saltford Parish Council in August to discuss the issue, prompting local estate agent Robin Eveleigh to step forward.

Mr Eveleigh said: “Having attended the public meeting on August 20 hosted by the parish council, my business partner and I were struck by the overwhelming desire by so many local residents to find a solution to reopening the much-loved and well-trodden paths of Saltford, both for walkers and riders alike.

“It struck me that this was the perfect opportunity to show our great appreciation to so many local residents who have supported Eveleighs Estate Agents since starting in Saltford and Keynsham three years ago to where it is now, so we consulted with Saltford Parish Council to lead the discussions with Mr Adam Stratton.”

Eveleighs’ funding will now keep the routes – around half of the original network – open for another year, with an official launch held on November 30 with residents, local councillors, representatives from Eveleighs and Mr Stratton, who said he was pleased to see the paths open again.

Mr Eveleigh said: “This particular cause is one which I know will bring so much pleasure to so many walkers and riders, and while it has meant digging a little deeper into our pockets to reopen the paths, this is our way of putting something back into our great community.”

Funding of £3,000 will need to be found annually to retain the paths, which Saltford Community Association hopes to collect in donations from those who use them.      

SCA treasurer Chris Essex said: “It is important that anyone using these paths gives a donation annually to the Saltford Community Association to fund this scheme on an ongoing basis or the permissive paths will be have to be closed once again.  We are very grateful to Eveleighs for funding the first year to allow the paths to reopen straight away."

Saltford Community Association can be contacted at Saltford Hall on 01225 874081 or at office@saltfordhall.co.uk.

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