Popular footpath near Dursley to be made public right of way

Gloucestershire County councillors have given the go-ahead for a new route to be added to the local network of public footpaths.

Councillors unanimously backed plans to add the footpath at Breakheart Hill, North Nibley to the definitive map of public rights of way at a meeting today (June 7).

A total of 29 people submitted evidence supporting the use of the claimed route which forms part of the Lantern Way, a 14-mile circular path which was launched by Dursley Welcomes Walkers in 2015.

The path is also part of the three-mile Breakheart Trail which was set up in 2016 and the Dursley Dozen Run set up by the Dursley Running Club in 1989.

It featured in 12 Favourite Walks in the South of Gloucestershire, a booklet published by the Ramblers Association in 1995.

However, landowner Julian Moss had objected to the proposals and said there was not enough evidence to support a public path or a definitive map modification order.

He also said the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in 2001/02 prevented the  continuous retrospective use over 20 years from 2019.

However, council officers rejected these arguments and recommended an order be made to add the footpath to the definitive map.

Councillor Graham Morgan, who sits on the commons and rights of way committee, said: “We followed the officer recommendation as they go through it thoroughly.

“The previous owners hadn’t contested it and some people had walked it for more than 50 years.

“So, we had to uphold the fact that it’s a right of way.”

Gazette Series Gloucestershire