Volunteers step in to clear ‘problem’ path in Horncastle

All clear: The path at the rear of Thomas Gibson Drive that was at the centre of a decade-long dispute. Picture: John Fieldhouse.
All clear: The path at the rear of Thomas Gibson Drive that was at the centre of a decade-long dispute. Picture: John Fieldhouse.

Volunteers from Horncastle’s Walkers Are Welcome Group have been thanked for clearing a footpath which was at the centre of a decade-long dispute.

Fed-up residents had complained about the condition of the path which links Jessop Close with Mareham Road at the rear of Thomas Gibson Drive.

For years, they had been battling with brambles and weeds amid claims no-one would take responsibility for ownership.

Horncastle Town Council confirmed when its estate workers attempted to clear the path, they had suffered verbal abuse from a resident and left the scene.

The News highlighted the issue in September, and also warned it could take several years for the path to be officially ‘adopted’ by the County Council.

After reading about the issue, the Walkers Are Welcome Group decided to act.

Town councillor and Deputy Mayor David Roark is a member of the group and was one of the volunteers.

Speaking at this month’s town council meeting, he said: “We decided to clear the path. We didn’t advertise what we were doing because previously, when somebody had tried to clear it, a resident got very aggressive.

“We didn’t have any problems. There were four of us and it took a couple of hours.”

Town and County councillor Bill Aron said it was ‘brilliant’ to see the path cleared. He had spoken to residents in Jessop Close in an attempt to find a solution to the problem.

Town Mayor Coun Brian Burbidge thanked the volunteers, adding: “Excellent work. It’s great to see another volunteer group engaging in the town and making it better for us all.”

Resident Philip Freestone, who first contacted the News along with Brenda Griffiths, said: “It has taken a long time but we’d like to thank everyone who has helped.

“Being able to walk along the path is good news for everyone. We’re all hoping it stays clear now.”

Coun Aron confirmed he would continue to investigate the ownership issue in a bid to find a long-term solution.