Two fingers from Tetsworth

Landowners and farmers at Tetsworth in Oxfordshire are putting up two fingers to the public who have the right to use the paths, and the county council which has a duty to maintain them.  I have visited the parish a few times recently while carrying out a bird survey for the River Thame Conservation Trust.  Then birds had my attention, although I did notice, blog about, and report the path problems.

Yesterday I returned to give the paths my attention.  There was a new, menacing CCTV sign on the bridleway to Oxhouse Farm (earlier this year the bridleway was obstructed with a padlocked gate).

CCTV warning on bridleway 28

The county council had informed me that the landowner had repaired two of the stiles I had reported.  Not a bit of it, they may have been slightly tweaked, but they are still illegal obstructions.

‘Stile’ obstructing footpath 13 near Oxhouse Farm

‘Stile’ on footpath 14, it leans away and the step is very short







Footpath 18 is completely blocked with barley.

Footpath 18 runs straight ahead

At its northern end there is a mobile home blocking most of the available width .  I have no idea whether it needs or has permission.

Mobile home on footpath 18







Footpath 17, which heads east from footpath 18, is blocked by vegetation.


Where is footpath 17?

Proceeding northwards, footpath 12 is obstructed by beans.

Footpath 12 under beans

Near Goldpits Farm the stile remained an obstruction, and there was a bonfire close to the path with noxious smoke blowing across it.

Noxious smoke across the footpath which runs to the left of the smoke

Having crossed the M40, I wanted to walk over the fields to Tetsworth church.   I had to climb the fence next to the padlocked gate, which I have previously reported.

Padlocked gate on footpath 22 where it joins bridleway 28

This path follows field boundaries and comes out in the village by the church.  At its terminus the choice is to clamber over an impossible stile or climb through the fence.  This is a disgrace for a path leading out from a village.

Footpath 21, obstructed

I am reporting these transgressions to the county council, with a copy to the parish council which has been helpful in getting the padlocked bridleway open.  I find it extraordinary that the people of Tetsworth are prepared to tolerate such blatant obstruction and abuse of local paths.

However there were two mitigating factors: the lovely views from the paths and the luscious blackberries in the hedgerows.

Tetsworth blackberries


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, Birds, Obstructed path, Public paths, walking and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Two fingers from Tetsworth

  1. Paul Partington says:

    Last Sunday found some issues in my parish (Bishops Lydeard). Finger post missing at end of a county road and believe gate here is unauthorised. My wife’s friend who walked the county road previously assumed no footpath and returned back the way she had walked. She missed out on a circular walk past field with horses. Resulted in making walk much longer for her. We also encountered crops which made the walk much longer and tired out my wife and her friend (there was a positive consequence for me, met up with a fawn, my wife and her friend missed out they were a few metres behind me around the corner of the hedge). After seeing the blackberries on the walk, my wife been back on part of the walk on her own. Came back with blackberries and made wonderful blackberry and apple crumble.

    Get Outlook for iOS

  2. John Bainbridge says:

    Reblogged this on Walking the Old Ways and commented:
    Please ALWAYS report path problems to the local highway authority and The Ramblers

  3. histman says:

    Pretty dreadful for one parish. I have been told a few times this year that work had been done on reported problems by the ROW officer but when I checked back later, nothing had been. I think that council officials are depending too much on the word of the land occupier.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s