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On Saturday (5 March) we shall call for greater public access to Weston Heath Coppice, Old Coppice and Bury Wood, at Weston-Under-Redcastle in north Shropshire.
Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, will speak at a rally at Weston village hall, with Keith Ridland, vice-chairman of the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s Shropshire branch.
All are welcome to come, there is a walk through the woods at 11am and the speeches are at 2.30 pm.
The woods have been used and enjoyed by the public for centuries but the new owner has put up gates and notices, some of which have been removed. This opposition to public enjoyment of the woods has sparked the claim of paths.
Says Kate: ‘We congratulate the communities who are asserting their rights to enjoy these lovely woods. It is vital that we gather evidence to record public highways before it is too late.
‘There is less than ten years left for us to claim public paths purely on historic evidence. On 1 January 2026 the gates close on the opportunity to record many public paths.
‘It would be tragic if the walks and rides through the lovely Weston woods and other places were to be lost for ever. We must research now the evidence for public-path status and send it into the councils who maintain and update the definitive maps of rights of way.’
The paths and tracks through Weston Woods have been used for centuries, taking people to and from the iron-age hillfort, Bury Walls. The paths were essential to the transport system linking neighbouring villages.
See Restoring the Record for details of a book spelling out how you can research and apply for public paths to be added to the definitive map.