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In Full . . .

Barbed wire danger to walkers

Posted on October 22 2011 at 11:16:28

As a resident of Old Rectory Lane, Alvechurch, and a bed and breakfast proprietor, I am writing to express my serious concerns over the footpath that runs from Old Rectory Lane into The Meadows. 

As most regular walkers will be aware, the field leading to The Meadows (and the field adjacent to it bordering on to Radford Road) is private land, and has recently been fenced off to stop dog walkers allowing their pets in that area. 

I can appreciate that it is the landowner’s prerogative to do this, but the strip of public footpath that remains is sloping, pot-holed, uneven, slippery and has roots growing through the grass as an added hazard. The worst part about it is the vicious barbed wire.

As a local, I have slipped and nearly taken a tumble on several occasions.  However an elderly friend of mine was walking across this footpath just a few days ago and missed her footing.  She put her hand out to save herself and cut her hand on the barbed wire in three places. 

One of the cuts was a “rip” and was deep and bled profusely.  She arrived to see me dripping blood!

Another friend slipped three weeks ago in similar circumstances, and he grabbed the fence to save himself (a natural reaction) and again sustained a nasty cut.

These are just two people who are both locals and have injured themselves in the last three weeks. How many more, and what about children that run along the footpaths enjoying themselves and mothers with push chairs? 

Visitors from outside the area come to enjoy the lovely scenery in our area – I frequently recommend that my guests walk into Alvechurch across our lovely meadows, through the avenue of chestnut trees, to visit the pubs, the shops, the canal, the church. 

We are so fortunate to live in such a picturesque area, but with winter approaching and wet, frosty or even snowy conditions ahead, is it wise to risk walking across a potentially dangerous stretch of footpath?

Is it acceptable to have barbed wire along a public footpath? Comments please.

Celia Hitch
Rectory Cottage Bed and Breakfast, Old Rectory Lane, Alvechurch

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