We have recently had the good news that the City of York Council intends to recognise as public footpaths the two access paths into Hagg Wood that we claimed back in 1997. We have received a very large number of messages of support from local residents for our campaign for reopening public access from Intake Lane, including many stressing the importance of such access for families of parents, grandparents and small children, both able and less able, as well as for health walkers, scouts, beavers, guides, brownies and cubs.
Unfortunately, a handful of objectors can still risk great local unhappiness by making the process of getting the access paths open again much longer than it needs to be. The outstanding issue of parking along Intake Lane is a question that needs to be resolved separately, and which we can productively engage in to find a viable solution. Closing the main path has failed to stop people wanting to use the wood and may well have resulted in more people wanting to park, to reduce the much longer walk into the wood that they face with the main access path blocked.
Having the main access path recognised as a public footpath under the responsibility of the City of York Council also helps to alleviate a second main reason for the blockage, that relating to liability. The possibility of selling the forestry track, from Intake Lane to the entrance to the wood, to the Forestry Commission, which we would be willing to assist in, would offer further benefits to the existing landowners.
Let us hope therefore that good sense prevails so that all can benefit.