Our next working party is to be held on Saturday 16th November commencing at 10.00am. However, due to the current restriction on gaining access to the wood via the Intake Lane entrance we will be using the entrance from Hagg Lane. We have arranged with Forestry Commission that we will be able to park up to 2 cars with our equipment in Cottage Plantation and then walk into the wood along the public path.
Any volunteer who travels by car we would advise you to park at the Children’s Play Park at the start of Intake Lane by 9.50am. If you normally walk into the wood could you also meet here at 9.50am. Lifts will be made available to transport you to Cottage Plantation.
We will be working in the Millennium area of the wood. All the necessary tools are provided. Bring gloves if you can, and wear stout shoes or wellies.
There has been much speculation in respect of the situation regarding the recent closure of the track from Intake Lane into Hagg Wood which has been open and used for many years by the residents of Dunnington. The action has raised a considerable amount of emotion and feelings within the community who see it as a valuable loss to residents. The track and Hagg Wood is in Kexby Parish.
This statement is made in full knowledge of the facts and with the co-operation of the new owners of the track in order to put the record straight.
The owner of the track has recently sold, separately, two fields adjacent to the track which also incorporates the track. This means that the first part of the track from Intake Lane is now owned by one party and the other part leading on to Hagg Wood is owned by another party. On completion of the sale the new owners were advised by their solicitors to close the track until such time as an outstanding access right of way matter was resolved and also to avoid any potential insurance liability issues. The track was subsequently closed on Sunday 13 October 2019 and a Private Land/No Public Right of Way notice posted on the gate at each end of the track and the gates locked.
This matter has been outstanding since 1997 when an application seeking to record a footpath between Kexby bridleway 8 and Kexby footpath, Hagg Wood, York was lodged with the local authority. The inaction of the City of York Council to deal with this matter over two decades has been a major factor in the current situation. In a letter received from the City of York Council dated 22 July 2019 they have acknowledged that this matter is still outstanding and will now be dealt with following a critical Local Government Ombudsman report into the way that the City of York Council’s Public Rights of Way function has been dealing with these types of applications.
See link to Ombudsman’s report: https://www.lgo.org.uk/decisions/transport-and-highways/rights-of-way/18-010-841#point1
The City of York Council has stated that they expect the application to be determined no later than 28 February 2020. If they decide to make an order they will do so as soon as reasonably practical after 28 February 2020.
In the meantime the track will remain closed, although the Ward Councillors are looking at the possibility of arranging a meeting with all interested parties to ascertain whether anything can be done to address the situation on a temporary basis until such time as the matter has been determined.
Updates will be provided as and when any further information becomes available.
This article is due to appear in the print edition tomorrow (Monday 4th Nov 19)
The online version can be viewed via the link below: https://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/18010035.residents-furious-woodland-footpath-blocked/