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Author Topic: Footpath Near Strand Water  (Read 1645 times)
TaylorMadeLiveries
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« on: March 26, 2020, 09:17:59 AM »

Hi all

Just a quick update that Taylor Made Liveries have CLOSED all Permitted Footpaths across their land.

Public Rights of Way (I.e. regular Footpaths) remain OPEN as normal.

The reasons are as follows
1. We actually agree with the Gov't directive that people should be social distancing. The volume of foot traffic along the paths has increased dramatically since that advice was first issued. More people than we've seen since owning the yard.

2. We have a few people in the Vulnerable category as clients and by closing off the 'gravel ground' we are able to guarantee a safe space for them at the end of our isolation.

3. Lou and I are self isolating as we may have mild symptoms. We don't want to share gateways and tracks with the general public during time.

A special note on Strand Lane:

We have closed our section of Strand Lane as part of these measures as it is not a Public Right of Way.

Prior to all this the Cookham Society have asked that we dedicate that part of Strand Lane as a Public Right of Way. We don't mind, it's always been open to the public the entire time we've known. If the residents of Strand Lane have no objections it can be made official as soon as this "lockdown" is over.



Slight reevaluation. Strand Lane is now OPEN. Having sat here for half an hr, closing it is having the opposite effect. Instead of walking the lane touching nothing people are walking around on the official paths touching gate gate stile gate gate gate. I'll keep the north fields fenced off for clients but closing the lane was a disaster

Apologies for the inconvenience and hopefully we can post a positive update on this soon.

Stay Safe
Mark & Lou
Taylor Made Liveries

« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 01:35:46 PM by TaylorMadeLiveries » Logged
aj
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2020, 11:19:31 AM »

My apologies if I have an incorrect understanding of the situation but as I recall there was an incident some months ago where a bridge across Strande Water was blocked and I understand that this was at your initiative.
Subsequently it transpired - again, as I understand matters from reading this forum - that you are not the actual landowner; this is Copas Farms, I believe, and that discussions were held between yourselves and the landowner and subsequently the bridge was reopened.

If this is broadly correct than may I point out that the decision to close this path is not in fact yours to make. I have to be candid and say that I might have more sympathy with your position had it not been for the earlier action in blocking the bridge. The reasons you set out in your communication here strike me more as convenient justifications for closing a path it's clear you always would have preferred was closed and it is difficult to see that you are acting entirely in good faith here.

I appreciate that these are difficult times and that under the circumstances wrangling over access to land may not be our top priority, but this sets a very dangerous precedent. We may well be under social distancing obligations for many months, during which access to open space and fresh air are critically important for the mental and physical health of everyone. If other landowners follow your example it may become quite difficult to roam around the area.

I urge you on behalf of the residents of Cookham to reconsider your actions. This is not a decision consistent with the community values we hold. We are all in this together. To see one member of the community behave in this manner is deeply disappointing.
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Paris
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2020, 11:35:00 AM »

The public rights of way, as stated in the original message are still open.  

It is an access route on Taylormade's private land, nothing to do with the bridge on summerleaze/copas land that has been closed.

Taylormade have very kindly permitted the public to use this access route as a path; however, it is not a public right of way.  Please note the use of the word 'permitted'; as it means use by the public is allowed by the landowner who is perfectly entitled to refuse that permission and close the access route at any time as they see fit.  

The fact that they are trying to hold together a business which many local people use and enjoy should not be forgotten either.  The yard is locked down for isolation purposes; therefore it is perfectly reasonable for them to wish to keep them and us safe by restricting public access to what is privately owned land.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 11:40:51 AM by Paris » Logged
TaylorMadeLiveries
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2020, 11:43:33 AM »

Hi AJ

Not sure I understand your statement about the bridge being closed. It was closed by Copas acting on behalf of Summerleaze and was only reopened when the application I made for an official right of way was submitted to RBWM.

I spent a lot of time collecting witness statements to make sure that bridge stayed open and received no response from Copas or Summerleaze to my requests for dialogue.

I have not closed any rights of way and the bridge I campaigned for remains open. I have closed the link tracks across our north fields to protect our clients and Strand Lane to discourage people ignoring the official advice.

Please post if I've not been clear enough with my reasons. I support the use of the countryside as a shared a space and am happy to discuss any issues
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aj
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2020, 12:04:32 PM »

I apologise if the rather sparse information I was able to glean from previous forum posts was inaccurate in any way. Most of the discussions took place out of the public arena.

However this in no way negates the important point which is that you have chosen to unilaterally act in a way which is, I feel, inconsistent with community values. The risk to which you, or your customers might be put by Coronavirus is infinitesimal; this is not foot and mouth, where
quite rightly land was closed due to the mechanism of disease transmission via footwear. I might in fact ask whether it is appropriate that your clients even be visiting you, under the present circumstances, but I appreciate that this of course may be necessary if the welfare of livestock is at stake.

By acting in this manner you are, as I said, setting a dangerous precedent. We have already seen over the last few days how various companies have acted in response to this crisis; one the one hand Britannia Hotels, Travelodge and Wetherspoons and on the other Dyson, who have burned the midnight oil to help design and build ventilators for the NHS.

Once again I urge you to reconsider this action, however justified you may feel it is. You are sending an inappropriate message to other landowners and you are not, in my opinion, acting in good faith as a member of your community.

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TaylorMadeLiveries
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2020, 12:19:36 PM »

Currently our clients are not visiting us. In the next week we would have served our isolation (7days to go) and will bring clients back onto the yard in allotted time slots.

I do very much understand your point. People enjoy outside space and we've always allowed people access to private land provided they are courteous
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TaylorMadeLiveries
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2020, 12:20:32 PM »

On the other hand I have been watching huge numbers of people walking across our tracks, touching the same points and posts within minutes of each other and with no care for transmission.

In the 10 years I have been in the area in have never seen so many people using a. Our tracks and b. The footpaths. More new faces since the Gov't told everyone to stay at home than ever before. I guess by closing the tracks I feel I am at least, not contributing to the problem. Please post your counter to this I am genuinely torn on this. Sorry for two posts having an issue with my phone
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aj
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2020, 12:34:12 PM »

I guess all I can say is, think carefully about the message you are sending out here. Of course you want to be safe and I entirely understand that. On the other hand once we start barricading ourselves in we are essentially making it clear that it's 'every person for themselves'

Once we stop being altruistic then - well, you've seen the panic buying and resulting shortages - now the stores have imposed per-customer limits, which is an act of social altruism. Were your actions defensible by virtue of a clear link to public safety, it might be a different matter. However you are saying, in essence, that you wish to prioritise your own perceived safety over the freedom of others. Yes, people are touching posts and fences and yes, theoretically this could lead to the spread of disease but we all are aware of this risk now and it's pervasive, so anywhere there's a gate or stile, it can't be helped.

This is not, though, in my opinion, a good reason to close paths. We have to open and close doors and interact with all sorts of surfaces that might be contaminated now, such as the baskets at the store, the buttons on the ATM, etc. So the risk is everywhere; we have been told to avoid touching our face and if we do so, and wash our hands regularly, we have been told that this minimises the risk.

Anyway, I've said all I can. There will be other landowners who will be influenced by how this plays out, and sometimes small events cascade into much larger ones. I'm sure you recall the affair of the Swiss B&B in Cookham, for example, which escalated rapidly into national prominence. I'd so much prefer to see us demonstrate how we can be in this together, as a community, but.... well, it's over to you now. Best wishes, however things pan out....
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TaylorMadeLiveries
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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2020, 12:58:23 PM »

I agree, it is a difficult situation to be in. It is why, even though the tracks are private land, I have tried to explain my reasoning. Not sure of the B&B affair?
I suppose it's a disagreement of the risks to the public. Some UK authorities have closed parks and official footpaths. Whilst I think its sensible, you and many others disagree. For our private tracks I have watched enough spreading behaviour to want to intervene and try to stop it. As we know more about the virus we will learn if this is a wise choice. Either way it is temporary and they will be reopened when this is over.
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TaylorMadeLiveries
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Posts: 25


« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2020, 01:24:01 PM »

Hi All

Slight reevaluation. Strand Lane is now OPEN. Having sat here for half an hr, closing it is having the opposite effect. Instead of walking the lane touching nothing people are walking around on the official paths touching gate gate stile gate gate gate. I'll keep the north fields fenced off for clients but closing the lane was a disaster
« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 01:25:49 PM by TaylorMadeLiveries » Logged
Paris
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2020, 05:04:57 PM »

The trouble with closing the lane was always going to be the two paths that cross it, both at your end and half way Al along.  While their is no PROW over the whole of the lane, there is at the two points where public footpaths continue their route across the lane.  The ramblers association told me this, so please no messenger shooting if that info is wrong.
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TaylorMadeLiveries
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« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2020, 05:33:40 PM »

It wasnt the closing of the whole lane just our section but it created a bottleneck on a different path with far more gates. So closing our bit of Strand Lane was a no go
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TaylorMadeLiveries
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« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2020, 01:02:24 PM »

UPDATE:

new guidance from the BHS states no one can ride. All paths and tracks are now open for use by the general public. Please social distance from workers and don't interact with the horses.

Thanks
Mark
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Paris
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« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2020, 09:52:50 AM »

Well said Mark.

Please everyone, bear in mind that those lovely horses you see in the fields may only have one person responsible for their care, as Mark said please do not interact with the horses (or any other livestock) you could be compromising their welfare if their human gets sick.
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Cat
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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2020, 01:07:49 PM »

Hello Mark

Firstly, I hope that both you and your family are well.

On your post you mention that the most recent update from the BHS says that no one should be riding their horses.

If so, it does rather look like that message has either not been read, or is being ignored.

On Saturday 2 adult females were riding their horses at a trot down Terry's Lane around midday.

On Sunday, a group of 3 adult females were out riding their horses around Cookham Dean.

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