Call to join Gurnard community campaign to register footpath for future generations

The well-worn path through Spencer’s Wood is the subject of a community effort to have the footpath protected as a right of way now that the land has been sold (STC) to a private buyer. See within for more details.

spencers woods

Claire Rennie shares her news from Gurnard. Ed

If you have ever walked the well-worn path from Worsley Road through Gurnard Cliff Wood to the beach, please take a few moments to fill in a form to help ensure the path becomes registered as a public right of way.

With Gurnard Cliff Wood, known to locals as ‘Spencer’s Wood’ going on the market with a ‘possible plot’ just before Christmas, members of the community concerned about the wood thought ‘wouldn’t it be good if we could somehow buy the Wood as a Community Project? – to conserve, enhance and share for generations to come.

‘IOW Beauty in Perpetuity’
They quickly set up ‘IOW Beauty in Perpetuity’ and began to raise pledges towards buying the Wood, and many volunteers offered their professional skills and knowledge.

Claire Rennie of IOW Beauty in Perpetuity explained how listening to the Community also led to the decision to register the footpath:

“Pledges were coming in from generous supporters but we always knew that time was of the essence. We had no guarantees that we would be able to buy the Wood. Everyone was getting increasingly concerned about losing public access to the path they had walked for over fifty years.

“So in parallel, we began the legal registration process to ensure that this path becomes a public right of way on the Isle of Wight definitive map.”

Sale of woods
This decision has proved to be crucial because on Tuesday (26th February) the Wood was sold to a private buyer.

Sadly, the Community had not been able to raise sufficient funds in time to satisfy the vendors.

Protect footpath as a right of way
However, we are still planning to protect the footpath as a right of way. We need to prove public usage to do this. You can help register the footpath – fill in a form.

If you walk or have walked through the wood please do contribute to getting the path formally recognised by completing a ‘user form’ by Wednesday 6th March 2019.

register the gurnard footpath

Where to pick up forms
You can pick up a form from Gurnard Press (the café on Worsley Road in Gurnard) or email to have the form sent to you.

Join others, some of whom have walked the woods since the 1960s! The greater the numbers who complete the form the more robust the registration case will be.

You can make a difference. Your children and grandchildren will thank you.

Please return completed forms to Gurnard Press or post to IOW Beauty in Perpetuity, 52 Pallance Road, Cowes, PO31 8LW


You can follow progress on the blog

Friday, 1st March, 2019 8:27am



Filed under: Gurnard, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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