Saturday, 3 May 2014

Sidmouth footpaths and tree trails

One of the founding principles of Britain's oldest civic society was looking after footpaths:

Rural Footpaths

'. . . preserving and securing to the Public the use of such paths both in this and adjoining Parishes, as it may appear they have been accustomed, and entitled to enjoy.' Minutes of the Sidmouth Improvement Committee, 1846 (later to be the Sid Vale Association).
For over 160 years a small team of volunteers continue to aspire to the intensions of the 'founding fathers'.
A few hours are spent each month monitoring rural footpaths in the Sid Valley.  This includes paying attention to signposts, fences, stiles, gateposts; and reporting to the relevant authorities any further work that needs to be undertaken. This working 'committee' makes an Annual Survey of all Public Rights of Way in the Sid Valley, 58 miles in all!
This work continues to the benefit of both Members, Residents, and the many Visitors to East Devon. Why not become a warden and help to keep our paths 'easy to use' through our beautiful Devon countryside?
Footpaths are one of the concerns of the SVA. We are fortunate to have the South West Coast Path and the East Devon Way passing through our Parish.
Reparing a FootpathClearing a footpath
Members lead regular walks and wardens patrol some 58 miles of Public Rights of Way in the valley. They act as the eyes and ears of the County Council and the Heritage Coast Service, who have the ultimate responsibility for path maintenance.
For useful map on where to walk, ride or cycle in East Devon, access the Public Rights of Way web-site and view 'My Local Paths'.
The SVA is represented on the Parish Paths Partnership, where it is involved with local Councillors, members of the Ramblers Association and the Pony Club.  Maintenance work is carried out by members themselves in the more straight forward tasks of way-marking and clearance.
Much of the countryside surrounding Sidmouth has been designated an AONB. This means that special protection is given to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the Sid Valley landscape. The coast also forms part of England's first natural World Heritage site, the Jurassic Coast.
The East Devon AONB is notable for its varied and dramatic scenery, tranquil estuaries, sheer red mudstone cliffs, and wooded hills and combes.
Please contact Alan Darrant, SVA Chairman, if you are interested in being involved in maintaining our footpaths and be part of the Parish Path Partnership.
Sid Vale Association - Rural Footpaths

Sidmouth has one of the densest networks of footpaths in the country:

The Sid Valley has 56 miles of pathways, maintained by the Parish Paths Partnership to enable you to explore this section of the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Also the valley is crossed by two long distance paths, the East Devon Way, and the South West Coast Path.

The Sidmouth Arboretum has produced several tree trails:

Tree Trails

... With such a lot to choose from you might like the help of our Tree Trails, designed to help you appreciate the trees in this wonderful landscape.
You can pick up leaflets from Tourist Information Office, or from many hotels and other establishments.
The website tree map has the basic trails marked.

Sidmouth Town Tree Trail

Very popular Tree Trail around Sidmouth Town, taking in a gentle uphill walk for wonderful views and some old, some new plantings. Leaflet available orview it online. If you have a modern Garmin GPS you can download a route. (Ought to work in any GPS, but only tested on Garmin)

Sidbury Tree Trail

Leaflet coming soon - two walking routes around Sidbury taking in the farmland and parts of the East Devon Way which runs through the village.

Sidmouth Arboretum - Tree Trails

Tree trail launched in Sidbury

Diana East,Edward Willis-Fleming,Rob Bolton,land owner Sir John Cave and Cllr John Dyson on the permissive footpath in Sidbury. Photo by Terry Ife. Ref shs 3771-16-14TI To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24
Diana East, Edward Willis-Fleming, Rob Bolton, land owner Sir John Cave and Cllr John Dyson on the permissive footpath in Sidbury. 
hoto by Terry Ife. Ref shs 3771-16-14TI 
Monday, April 21, 2014
5:30 PM

WALKERS are being encouraged to sample the delights of Sidbury through the launch of a new tree trail leaflet masterminded by Sidmouth Arboretum.

It comes off the back of a successful incarnation for the town and has been devised by village resident and tree enthusiast Rob Bolton.

The Sidbury leaflet offers two circular walks around the beautiful valley. They take in the village centre, including Millennium Pond, and encourage walkers onto the East Devon Way.

Members of Sidmouth Arboretum expressed their gratitude to Sir John Cave as landowner of much of the valley. Sir John has enabled the creation of the longer circular route, by establishing a permissive path and, with the support of the county council and parish paths partnership, the eroded track has been restored.

New signs indicate the route - which gives excellent views across the valley.

Generously supported by the Sid Vale Association’s Keith Owen Fund, the leaflets are distributed free of charge and are available from local outlets.

The importance of footpaths to the economy has been widely recognised:
Sidmouth ‘first’ to land footpath status - News - Sidmouth Herald

Although there have been fears expressed as to how 'secure' access to this network is:
Futures Forum: Walkers are welcome... or not

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