Stiles replaced with gates to make life easier for walkers

Ramblers at one of the new gates
Ramblers at one of the new gates

Walkers will no longer have to battle with stiles on some of the footpaths around 1066 Country, following work by two Ramblers groups.

Sussex Ramblers and Battle Ramblers affiliated group joined forces with the East Sussex Rights of Way Team and a local landowner to replace stiles for gates on the 1066 Country Walk and 1066 Hastings Link Path at Westfield.

The gates were bought with donations from both Ramblers groups, and installed by the ESCC’s Countryside and Rights of Way Team.

A 15 km (9.5 mile) stretch of the popular long distance 1066 and 1066 Hastings Link Paths is now completely stile-free.

In addition, work has seen the completion of a network of locally used stile-free footpath links between Three Oaks and Westfield.

Chris Smith, Ramblers Sussex area spokesman, said: “Stiles can be a problem for some walkers, and with a stile frequently encountered at every boundary, even a short walk can feel more like the ‘100 metre hurdles’.

“By replacing the stiles with gates these paths also become dog-walker friendly, although as the paths all run over farm land with stock, dog walkers should keep their dogs on a lead at all times.

“Ramblers and East Sussex County Council’s Countryside and Rights of Way Team are dedicated to making the countryside more accessible to all walkers, and these new gates will make a significant contribution.”

Ramblers is Britain’s walking charity. It is a grass roots network of more than 12,000 volunteers. For more than 70 years it has helped build and protect Britain’s 150,000-mile long path network (including roughly 4,000 miles in Sussex).

The charity has successfully campaigned for public access to open land and more than 28,000 walks a year, and campaigns for better walking routes and more walking opportunities.

The Sussex Area of the Ramblers carries out its work in East and West Sussex with more than 3,000 individual members and more than 20 affiliated clubs.

Just like the A23, the A27 and similar roads, footpaths and bridleways are highways and members of the public have rights over them. Everyone has the right to walk on a footpath and everyone has the right to walk, ride or cycle on a bridleway.