‘A cold coming we had of it’ and not just because of the snow. The modest Twigside Farm, at Ibstone in Bucks, has now, with no thanks to Wycombe planners, been replaced by a mansion. Users of the adjoining bridleway are not made to feel welcome.
It’s not that the path is blocked, it is just offputting. Coming down from Ibstone on a concrete track you first meet a CCTV notice, then a CCTV camera.
When you approach the buildings you find a sign which says ‘Preferred bridleway route avoiding driveway’. Preferred by whom? The landowner of course.
This takes you on a circuitous route away from the buildings, instead of on the old, direct route which passes it.
Furthermore, part of the ‘preferred’ route is a public footpath, so horse-riders will very likely destroy the surface – hardly popular with walkers and something which should concern Bucks County Council as highway authority.
It’s sad that here in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty we should be made to feel unwelcome when we are merely exercising our rights of passage on the public highway.