The following is a précis of Jimm Yarrow's report on the public footpaths, which shareholders are urged to read as it contains information about the use of the fields.
The full text is Here (opens in new window)
Public footpaths in the Whatcombe Fields Area.
I have adopted the public paths within the Whatcombe Fields area under the Somerset County Council’s “Adopt-A-Path” Scheme.
This involves regular inspection of the paths, and keeping the ways clear to use by clipping the nearby vegetation, particularly around path furniture such as stiles and kissing gates. More major issues must be reported to the Paths Officer at S.C.C.
Shareholders no longer require members of the public to keep to the public paths in our three fields, but I have added way-markers, so that people specifically walking the paths are helped. Where we replaced the former metal frame with a new wooden kissing gate by house 126 Whatcombe Road, opposite the Upper Whatcombe junction, there are no way-markers, as this is not, and never has been, a public footpath.
When we use the fields which we do not own as SOSWF, their private nature should be respected, and one should keep to the public footpaths.
Drainage and path flooding (but see below 4th April 2017)
On 28th December Jimm Yarrow and Mark Date installed a double pipe under the public footpath at the worst flooding point. The water flows more easily now and the path should drain gradually. They did not have quite enough hardcore and gravel, so they will complete the task when Mark has accumulated some more materials.
Mark is a self-employed groundworker so if you need any work of this kind done you might like to contact him -
MJD Services, 14 Valley View, FROME BA11 3SD.
Phone: 07525-433611 email: email@example.com
Please see Mark's public facebook reviews page: https://www.facebook.com/MJD-Services-1409472065983474/reviews/
Footpath Drainpipes Replacement 4th April 2017
Today we replaced the drainpipes under the public footpath. The previous ones had successfully drained the path surface and the nearby wet area, but struggled in times of heavy rainfall. The faster flow of the spring brook had brought quantities of calcified reeds down into the drain. After the recent hedge trimming the offcuts had also often stuck inside, the smaller pipes being the perforated style. We trust the larger ones will need less clearing out.
We have covered the new pipes with hardcore as before, which will be monitored this as it beds down. If necessary we will add some gravel to the path surface. JY & IM
Original pipes from December 2015
Ian's older tractor with the new pipes
New larger bore pipes installed
Stratford gate replaces iron rail stile 12th January 2018
Yesterday Ian M. and I dismantled the extremely old and rather awkward iron rail stile at the lower entrance to the Sledging Field. We replaced it with a Stratford gate, see "before and after" pictures below. This will make access much easier when a new field gate is installed, as it should be chained when required to control the grazing régime when the cows return to us around the start of March 2018.
The gate was given to us by our area Somerset C.C. paths warden, as this gateway is part of a public footpath (no:FR20/10). Jimm Y-->
Entrance to SOS "Sledging Field"
Exit to individually owned field
Permissive Path Indictor Installed 9th November 2018
Today Les Stather - Frome Parish Paths Liaison Officer - and I installed a shortened recycled "Public Footpath" notice indicating the way down from the Ramblers' Gate by the A362 to the Public Footpaths at the lower part of the Sledging Field.
With Frome's accreditation of "Walkers Are Welcome" more walkers are likely to visit the town. Walkers often like to follow public footpaths from maps, and the sign will assist with thet, although of course we do not insist that public paths are followed within the three Whatcombe Fields.
The link to "Walkers Are Welcome" on Frome Town Council's website can be found under "Links" on the menu left. Several businesses in Frome, eg The Cheese and Grain Café now display the Walkers Are Welcome signs. More should follow.