Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Wansdyke Path

Asked the question below, as nothing has happened for all the meetings I have attended, one officer no money this what happens.


Q.6: From Cllr Nigel Roberts for Cllr Charles Gerrish:

Please could the Executive member report on what the Council is doing to ensure that the Wansdyke through Odd Down is safeguarded and that the footpath that runs along the Wansdyke is passable for walkers.

Answer:

The section of the Wansdyke earthwork that runs through Odd Down and South Stoke is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. This is a national designation placing legal restrictions and obligations on the relevant land owner, which are enforced by English Heritage (on behalf of DCMS). Due to ongoing management problems and anti-social behaviour affecting this section of the Wansdyke, the council’s Archaeological Officer has hosted meetings of the local ward councillors (including Cllr Roberts), South Stoke parish councillors, English Heritage, interested local residents, the Police, PROW Officers and Parks Officers. As a result of these meetings English Heritage are keen to establish a monument management strategy/plan for this stretch of the monument, and with the agreement of the above working group have produced a brief for the management plan.

Further progress was made this year when ownership of the Odd Down section of the monument and adjacent public open space was transferred from Crest to the Council's Parks Department, while the South Stoke section remains in private ownership. As part of the adoption of Sulis Meadows, including The Wansdyke, a commuted sum was provided to fund the maintenance of the grass, trees shrubs and vegetation. The Archaeological Officer and Arboricultural Officer will meet on site over the winter period with English Heritage to agree the management regime that provides the best protection for the monument. The condition of the footpath associated with the monument is also being looked at as part of ongoing discussions between English Heritage and the Council’s PROW Officers. However, as a result of the Government’s spending review English Heritage are about to lose 32% of their budget and we are now uncertain whether they will still be able to support this project. The Archaeological Officer has contacted English Heritage on this issue and will coordinate another working group meeting once the situation becomes clearer. In the meantime the Council’s Parks Officers and PROW Officers will continue working with those concerned to resolve the ongoing problems affecting the monument and footpath.

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