Biddenhamites jealously guard their heritage. So we were very excited when we heard, within hours of posting ‘Destruction and desecration’, that work had already been undertaken to restore the Coffin Path.
We rushed down to see. Hmmm. We couldn’t really spot the difference.
We do hope that there is more to be done yet to restore the paths, because can what has been done so far conceivably be acceptable as complying with the obligations of the Rights of Way Act 1990?
You may spot a hazy, vague impression of the paths in some distance shots but as you progress through the field, still trying to avoid spraining an ankle or two, of paths there appears to be nothing.
Apparently, barley has been sown in the field, and the good news is if the barley grows over where the paths should be we are entitled to cut it back. We’d better warn the DIY stores there could be a run on scythes later in the year?
Let’s hope the Borough Council will tell us there is still more restoration work to be done to bring the Coffin Path and footpath 10 back into obvious being and at appropriate widths. We don’t want another ‘dovecote moment’.
This whole saga does bring out the importance of communication. Had villagers known in advance that work was due to be done affecting a right of way, particularly in such a sensitive area and on a path so significant to the village’s heritage, there could perhaps have been proper discussion and agreed action before the event. We have heard there was some discussion between the Borough Council and the Estate last December. If that is the case was any effort made to communicate with Biddenham?
So in the meantime keep on trampling and look out those recipes that make good use of barley.