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A public footpath will be added to the official map of rights of way, thanks to the efforts of our local correspondent, Ralph Holmes. Ralph, who covers Waverley Borough in Surrey claimed a footpath on the Rockwood Estate, Brook, near Witley. The path runs from near West Lodge on Haslemere Road (the A286) to Parsonage Farm, where it joins paths to Mare Hill, Sandhills and Witley.
Ralph’s application was supported by detailed written evidence from more than 50 local people who had used the path, 15 of whom gave evidence at the four-day public inquiry last October. The public inquiry was necessary because there were objections from the landowner, Mr and Mrs Swarbreck. The inquiry inspector, Mark Yates, has ruled that the plan should be confirmed and the path added to the map.
Ralph is delighted with this outcome. He says: ‘Before Mr and Mrs Swarbreck bought the Rockwood Estate, the path had long been freely used by local people from the Brook and Witley area. In recent years I know that many walkers have been put off from using it after having been challenged. I am so pleased that their right to use this path can no longer be challenged because it has been fully confirmed as a public right of way.
‘For Brook residents the path is an essential part of a superb circular walk from the Recreation Ground, via Heath Hills and footpath number 139. Footpath 139 was saved by a public inquiry in 2006 when Mr and Mrs Swarbreck tried to get it permanently closed.’