Articles

Save Our West Sussex Footpaths!

December 5th, 2011

Just one more “off topic” post and then I’ll return to matters relating to hypnosis and hypnotherapy – promise!

I read an article in the West Sussex County Times (Nov 17th) about the denial of access to Denne Hill via the Old Coach Road and felt saddened and concerned.

I’ve lived in Horsham for most of my life. And ever since I can remember, people have used the Old Coach Road as an access to Denne Hill. I myself would use it once or twice a month en route to the Downs Link path to Shoreham. Never once did anyone challenge my right to do so. When it was closed off some years ago I simply stopped using it on the assumption that there must be some legal basis for the denial of access. But, on further reflection, this cannot be the case.

I am a very keen walker. I frequently walk from Horsham to destinations such as Steyning, Guildford, East Grinstead and Arundel as well as treading the network of local footpaths which are one of the many joys of living in West Sussex. I don’t say that people should have the right to roam anywhere, as I believe they do in Scotland. I think that it is only fair that farmers should have somewhere to graze their dodgy bulls or frisky horses without risk of contact from the general public. I respect the property through which I walk and, in turn, appreciate the efforts of landowners to keep me safe from hazard.

But I really cannot understand for the life of me why the people who live along the now shut-off bit of the Old Coach Road wish to deny access to the walking public. Even if it were open they would hardly be dealing with great throngs of people. When I was young there were always people walking up Denne Hill. Nowadays you see far fewer people, probably because there is no immediately adjacent car park. I just can’t understand the reasons for the denial of access. People walk and drive along the road I live in and I am totally undisturbed by them. The people who live in the large dwellings at the very top of Hampers Lane, or in the vast houses along the road beside the Dragon pub in Colgate have not deemed it necessary to erect electric barriers to prevent access by the general public. Why do the people who live along the Old Coach Road think have such a problem?

If you feel as strongly about this as I do, you might want to contact Norman Raby, who is organizing a campaign to keep the Old Coach Road open to the general public. You can email him at n.raby@talktalk.net

Does it really matter? There are so many footpaths in West Sussex that is it such a big deal if one of them gets closed off? The answer has to be yes because such actions set a precedent. The network of footpaths all over West Sussex is a valuable asset. We should do all we can to protect it.

Horsham Hypnotherapy: serving clients from Horsham, Crawley, Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath, Guildford, Redhill and all parts of West Sussex, East Sussex and Surrey. Contact us today.

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