Walkers from Battle Health Walks and Battle Ramblers made an inaugural walk through the new Kissing Gate at Mansers Shaw on a warm spring day last Friday.
The Kissing Gate, next to the 1066 Country Walk, adjacent to the Abbey Grounds, replaces an old broken down stile that until recently had been repaired several times and was very difficult to negotiate at the top of some steps.
Battle Ramblers had identified the need for a replacement in July last year and approached the ESCC Principal Rights of Way Officer, with the idea that the Mansers Shaw ghyll crossing needed to be improved; they highlighted the footfall route, being within the urban environment where there are plenty of walkers on a daily basis.
Following a site visit it was agreed that rather than a replacement stile, a better solution would be to install an oak Kissing Gate, given the relatively sensitive location near to the Abbey site.
Bev Marks, Battle Ramblers Footpath Officer, attended a Battle Town Council Environment Committee meeting to explain the proposal and the council confirmed it could go ahead.
The ESCC RoW Rangers quickly made some surface improvements in November needed to cover the easily tripped-over tree roots. Battle Council field staff made wood chip improvements on another section of the footpath.
Battle Ramblers donated the full cost of the gate materials, funded from legacies provided to the Ramblers. ESCC ordered the gate components and The Kissing Gate was installed by ESCC RoW Rangers with help from BTC field staff in 2018-February. Battle Ramblers then ordered lasered marine quality stainless steel plaques.
Battle Ramblers chairman John Feltwell said: “We hope this multi-agency effort proposed by Battle Ramblers will be a long lasting tribute to our former Ramblers and will remain a valuable asset for the whole community to enjoy.”
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