Herefordshire’s extensive network of public footpaths and bridleways allows locals and visitors alike to explore every corner of this beautiful county on foot or horseback – or it should.
Hereford Ramblers chair Arthur Lee wrote last week claiming: “Currently a whopping 65 footpaths in Herefordshire are closed, 40 of them because of damaged bridges.”
“This surely puts Herefordshire at the top of the English Premier League for path closures,” he said.
Herefordshire Council, which is legally responsible for maintaining the network, has since said there are currently 53 closed paths in the county, of which 34 are closed due to damaged bridges.
Mr Lee called for the council to “provide far better support to volunteers like the Ramblers” to address the problem, as well as bringing the maintenance of rights of way back in-house and increasing resources for bridge repairs.
A council spokesperson said: “We value the support of local volunteer groups and work closely with them as they assist in maintaining the public right of way network, however due to the scale of the work on the larger schemes it would not be appropriate for volunteers to undertake these.”
She added: “There are hundreds of public rights of way across the county that we maintain, prioritising those in most urgent need of repair and ensuring the budget available for this is used most effectively.”