WALKERS need “jungle equipment” to enjoy some of Flintshire’s footpaths, a former county councillor says.
Ex-Saltney county councillor Klaus Armstrong-Braun from Broughton says a path near the Cheshire border is just the latest of many he has reported as overgrown or otherwise obstructed.
He contacted Flintshire Council about ‘footpath number 71’ at Green End Farm off Simpson’s Way in Broughton when it became impassable.
“It was completely overgrown with vegetation,” he said.
“The field edge footpath is one that has been fenced off by the farmer to separate it from the rest of his land where cattle graze.
“He can do what he likes,” said Mr Armstrong-Braun. “There’s no blame to him at all.
“In the past the cattle would have eaten the vegetation but now it’s the duty of the council to maintain the rights of way.”
Since he reported the problem with ‘footpath 71’, the council has promised to visit the site and carry out any works necessary.
But Mr Armstrong-Braun said overgrown paths were part of a wider obstruction problem involving broken styles and bridges and the illegal blocking off of footpaths by landowners.
“Over the years, I’ve had made hundreds of complaints about obstructions. The majority I’m still pushing them on,” he said. “Some from as long ago as 2005.”
“Why have the footpath when you can’t use it?”
“The Government says get out and walk. That’s what these paths are there for – to get away from the town.
“They want people to get out of the car and get healthy
“But when they get there, they’re obstructed by nettles and briar. You’d have to take your jungle equipment to walk there.”
Andrew Farrow, Flintshire Council’s chief officer planning and environment, said: “This issue was brought to the attention of the council on June 18.
“The site has been inspected by a rights of way officer and will be scheduled for clearance as soon as arrangements can be made with our maintenance contractor.”