Maintaining the beauty of Thaxted in Essex for ramblers
THE next time you are walking, taking in the beauty of the scenery, spare a though for a band of volunteers who work to stop that overgrown bush from impeding you.
The Parish Paths Partnership (P3) was set in conjunction with Essex County Council to make sure the pathways that enable the public to wander the picturesque countryside are maintained.
The village of Thaxted has its own group which started over three years ago after the parish council had a meeting to see if people were interested - some 30 people showed up and have been improving the 100km-plus of paths ever since.
Chairman of Thaxted’s P3 Mick Jiggins said: “Those 30 people constitute the group. What we do is look after the footpaths in Thaxted.
“There are over 100 footpaths in the parish and that is about 100km of walking. I think that we have now worked on them all.
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“The amount of work we do depends on the footpath. In some cases we have brought a footpath back from the dead and in others we have made simple improvements.
“Our most recent one was a good length path that ran a few miles alongside fields, through woods and came into a lane. We had to create a path though the woods which you couldn’t see at all before but it looks like it has always been there now.”
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Mr Jiggins has always been a keen walker so when the parish council contacted him about the meeting he was more than willing to help out.
“We meet up every week, usually on a Wednesday or a weekend to tackle one of the footpaths,” he said.
“P3 has a partnership with Essex. They provide all the equipment, materials and training needed and we audit the footpaths around Thaxted. They are quite strict on how we go about doing things due to health and safety.
“The whole thing is run by the government’s Right of Way people who are trying to involve communities and to continue the upkeep of the footpaths.”
The P3 group also organises four walks throughout the year with each falling on a bank holiday. This year the walks are scheduled for New Year’s Day and Easter, Spring and Summer bank holidays.
The walk on New Year’s Day has attracted a lot of people in the past and Mr Jiggins describes the event as “great day to go out walking”.
So if you’re a keen rambler or just in need of a walk after spending Christmas indoors then get along. The walk starts from Margaret Street car park at 10.15am.
If you would like to get involved with P3 and start clearing pathways in Thaxted for future generations to enjoy get in contact with Mr Jiggins by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org