Virtual footpaths?

PUBLISHED: 10:30 06 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:43 06 May 2010

SIR, — As a walker I welcomed the news (Herts Advertiser, October 9) that the Woodland Trust has marked its ownership of the newly-named Heartwood Forest at Sandridge by opening six kissing gates into the site so that the public can walk miles of permiss

SIR, - As a walker I welcomed the news (Herts Advertiser, October 9) that the Woodland Trust has marked its ownership of the newly-named Heartwood Forest at Sandridge by opening six kissing gates into the site so that the public can "walk miles of permissive footpaths through formerly private farmland".

However I have been unable to ascertain the exact routes of these new permissive footpaths and am beginning to wonder whether they exist as yet. I asked the Woodland Trust for clarification but have had no clear response. Is there anyone among your readers who can enlighten me?

I notice too that all but one of the kissing gates lead onto the site from existing public rights of way. The exception is the kissing gate at the far western extremity of Nomansland Common where it is hidden behind a dense thicket of undergrowth.

I cannot understand why it has been sited at such a remote and inaccessible spot where few who visit the Common will find it, and close to a highly-visible but private farm track which might easily be mistaken for it.

Surely, a more appropriate place for a kissing gate at Nomansland would have been in the boundary hedge opposite the car park where it would be unobtrusive but easily accessible to visitors.

MICHAEL MARTIN,

Lattimore Road, Wheathampstead.

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