Stile-free walks for Turville

In 2014 Turville Parish Council in Bucks consulted parishioners about how to spend its budget surplus to benefit the community.  The surplus at 31 March was about £6,500 with further surpluses anticipated (for instance from Community Infrastructure Levy on large new properties in the parish).

After some discussion it agreed a three-year programme to remove the Himalayan Balsam from Turville Heath common (total estimated cost £7,500), and a two-year project to replace stiles on footpaths with gates.  The latter made use of the Chiltern Society’s excellent Donate a Gate scheme, the plan being to replace four stiles in each of the two years at a total cost of £2,000.

The first four gates have been installed on Turville footpaths 17 and 19, between Summer Heath Wood and Southend, providing a stile-free walk from Turville Heath to Stonor in Oxfordshire.

If you walk from Summer Heath you come first to a wooden kissing-gate on the edge of the wood, which replaced the stile.

web FP17 looking SW

Turville FP 17 at GR 753 916 looking SE, before

web FP17 looking SW gate

and after








The other three gates are metal, which is unfortunate; they are banausic and unattractive in the landscape.  However that is my personal view and I know some people prefer them.

web FP17 and 19 2 looking SE

FP 17  at GR 754 917 looking SE

web FP17 and 19 2 looking SE gate










web FP17 and 19 3 looking NW

FP 17 at GR 754 918 looking NW

web FP17 and 19 3 looking NW gate











web FP19 jct BW1

Junction of FP 19 and BW 1 at Southend (GR 755 898)

web FP19 jct BW1 gate2












The plan had been to have two stiles on footpath 17 and two on footpath 4 (between Turville Court and the entrance to Wormsley) replacing the stiles below.  Unfortunately the landowner would not agree.

web FP4 at jct with 4A

FP 4 at GR 748 916

web FP4 at road

Turville FP4 at GR 749 918








Although the parish council agreed the funding for two years, we now have a new council and the expenditure for the next four gates needs to be agreed at the March meeting.  I have photographed most of the stiles in the parish, such as those below which could do with replacement.

web FP21A jct BW1

Turville FP 21A at its junction with BW 1 (GR 756 898)

web FP14 looking E

Two stiles on Turville FP 14 at GR 748 910










However, the parish council’s aim is to select those which will make a stile-free walk, to get the most out of its investment.

After the parish council’s four there are still more stiles to tackle, and Donate a Gate is a good way to achieve the change.  Of course there may be places where there is no livestock and no barrier is necessary.  Gaps are definitely best!

About campaignerkate

I am the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and I campaign for public access, paths and open spaces in town and country.
This entry was posted in Access, Chilterns, Public paths, Turville, walking and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Stile-free walks for Turville

  1. Arthur Lee says:

    Excellent news Kate. We in Herefordshire have applied for a Tesco grant to replace stiles with gates on Herefordshire Trail with Ramblers installing them. We are using gates that are useable by Disabled Ramblers.

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