Stody Estates announces popular walking routes saved thanks to parish council support
PUBLISHED: 12:43 26 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:43 26 January 2018
A north Norfolk estate has come together with local parish councils to overcome government spending cuts which would have seen much-loved walking routes closed.
Earlier this year the Stody Estate, near Melton Constable, announced it would be forced to close their 13 miles of permissive access ways at the end of January, due to a complete cut in state funding which covered the costs of opening the pathways to the public.
But the estate has now confirmed that thanks to support from nearby parish councils, areas including two highly popular dog walks near Briston and Edgefield will stay open, as well as walks next to the estate’s neighbouring villages.
Charlie MacNicol of the Stody Estate, said: “We were acutely aware of how popular the permissive areas on Stody Estate have become over the last 20 years and are absolutely delighted that we have been able to keep two dog walking areas and several walks close to our neighbouring villages open.
“This is entirely due to a coordinated effort with our local parish councils and the estate offering to fund the costs of these areas beyond January 2018.”
The estate will fund 100pc of the insurance of the paths, as well as health and safety, and maintenance and management costs attributed to the sections of the areas remaining open.
John Seymour, chairman of Edgefield Parish Council, was pleased that the routes which have been open to the public for 20 years would remain so.
He said: “We are disappointed the government decided to cancel the whole scheme and have been working with Stody Estate and other parish councils.
“We have liaised with many concerned parishioners and local residents, took the correct legal advice in completing the legal contract and are highly appreciative of Stody Estate’s kind offer to pay for both dog walking areas and remaining paths and keep them free for all users.”
The estate had been one of the first to get on board when the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) first launched their Permissive Paths Schemes.
Between present and 2020, all permissive pathways which were funded by DEFRA will see their funding lost.