Herefordshire path-defender wins Open Spaces Society’s national award

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Peter Newman, formerly of Kington, Herefordshire, is the first-ever winner of our prestigious Eversley Award for Outstanding Personal Endeavour.

Peter Newman (left) receiving his award from OSS chairman Graham Bathe (right)

Peter Newman (left) receiving his award from OSS chairman Graham Bathe (right)

Peter won the award for his 25 years of work on public paths with offenders on Community Payback. Peter collaborated with the Herefordshire Probation Service and Herefordshire Council to install about 800 stiles and gates, waymarks and fingerposts, and many notice-boards and footbridges, in 16 parishes in north-west Herefordshire. The routes which they improved included parts of Offa’s Dyke National Trail and the Mortimer Trail.

The project ended with Peter’s recent move to Powys. Peter earned plaudits from Herefordshire Council and the probation service.

Peter has also served as the Open Spaces Society’s local correspondent in Herefordshire for 32 years.

The award is named after Lord Eversley, the distinguished founder of the society in 1865, and for many years its president and chairman.

Peter completing a signpost

Peter completing a signpost

Our chairman Graham Bathe presented the award to Peter at the society’s AGM last week.

Says Graham: ‘The Eversley Award is granted very exceptionally indeed, reserved only for those who have made the most outstanding contribution to enhancing and protecting our rights in the countryside. I am delighted that the first award has been granted to Peter Newman after 25 years endeavour.

‘I cannot imagine even visiting the many hundreds of gates, stiles, bridges and waymarkers he has installed, let alone walking along all the paths and trails he has maintained and improved. Peter has enabled the public to enjoy the splendid path network of Herefordshire. He has set the benchmark for this award very high indeed.’

Says Peter: ‘I am surprised and delighted to have been given this award. I am grateful to all the young and not-so-young offenders, who worked alongside me on the path network over the years, and without whom and the support of the Hereford probation office, this scheme would never have happened.’

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