Village walk 4th November 2017
Councillor Sara Hewitt, the vice-chairman of the Parish Council, led our village walk on 4th November starting from the Triangle in the middle of our parish. Being a bright Saturday morning, a substantial group of 25 people and two natural companions – dogs – started to absorb the first part of our parish`s 4-mile footpath and bridleway network. The aim of the walk was to establish the condition of the footpaths, gates and stiles along the way. As we walked the route, our knowledge about this type of public highway increased thanks to the information given by the representatives of Devon County Council,
Ros Davies Parish Paths Liaison Officer and Jonathon Rowlands Public Rights of Way Officer. We learned how to assess the state of the stiles and we had a lot of opportunity to practice, as there were many along the route.
The condition of this stretch of path was generally fine but Ros and Jon noted some areas ready for improvement. As Doddiscombsleigh Parish Council joined the Parish Paths Partnership - or P3 - scheme, there is extra funding available to make our footpaths safe and up to the new standards. We learned that as the stiles got to the end of their life, Devon County Council encourages the land owners to swap them for gates. That would be a welcome change, we decided whilst queuing at the seventh stile. After an hour of enjoyable exercise we arrived at the Sheldon Centre where a generous lunch and warm hospitality was waiting for us.
After lunch, in order to get back to the public highway, we rose to the challenge of the most demanding uphill bit of the route and a glorious view was our prize. Walking and talking in a good company we got back to our starting point and thanked the leader of the walk and the Devon County Council representatives for the informative and very pleasant morning.
We hope that this walk will be the beginning of a nice and healthy tradition in our parish.