A SURVEY OF THE FOOTPATHS IN THE PARISH OF NORTH NIBLEY, GLOUCESTERSHIRE, MADE BY MEMBERS OF THE LOCAL COMMUNITY IN THE SPRING AND SUMMER OF 1981.
A Survey of the Footpaths in the Parish of North Nibley, Gloucestershire - May/June 1981
The definitive County Map of footpaths shows 63 footpaths in the Parish. A number of these have been the subject of special orders. The survey reports on the state of those which remain in force.
1. From Fortune Farm to the Sewage station; across open fields but not clearly defined on the ground.
2. From Fortune Farm to Snitend Bridge; this path is easily walkable but seldom if ever used; if one starts from Snitend Bridge, there is no longer any sign of the footbridge over the brook but access to the path is possible 30 yards NE in the field gate by the bridge. Access is unimpeded for the length of the path which passes over meadow land. One hedge has been removed which ran nearly parallel to the path in the middle section. The path finally passes over a stile in good repair into what was originally a farm track and continues out of the parish.
3. From Snitend Bridge to the Dursley Road: through a field gate this path should run uphill with a hedge on the left; the way out to the road is blocked with furze etc. and the line of the path passes out of the parish.
4. Across the site of a Roman Villa; this path is clearly signposted as part of the Cotswold Way; entry through a field stile in the hedge.
5. Along the bottoms by North Nibley Mill (disused); very muddy; crosses the stream over a difficult barbed wire fence. Where it joins the road there is a stone stile.
6. From Dursley Road to Forthay; completely blocked at the North End where it touches the Cotswold Way by an overgrown hedge; the route is mainly through bog and would not be usable except in very dry weather.
7. From Pitt Court to Forthay Lane across Mr. Mason's field; undefined on the ground, no signpost, crossing an electric fence and with a shaky gate to climb at the Forthay end.
8. From Pitt Court to Warren Hill; just visible an the ground; not signposted but is passable and has a new bridge.
9. Circular path above Millend Wood; blocked by M.E.B. railings and deliberate inefficiency; as a consequence, no path is now possible; the East stile has been walled up and wires; gate spiked; entry can be gained over a crumbled wall and along edge of a field where a further wall and dirty cattle yard prevent further progress; after this there is an official diversion by the Water Board; only part of the path exists with a stile provided by the Water Board; after 50 yards to the South the path is obstructed again by a CEGB dump; entry to the path from the road has an (illegal) Keep Out sign.
10. From New Inn to hilltop; well-used up the hillside from the New Inn; entry over a new stile; first few yards can be very muddy; path continues across a field and over a second excellent stile to the second section - a steep path through a wood. Here the path has left the original track between steep banks and runs parallel with the top of the bank rejoining the original at the top. Remainder of route follows a track leading, to the road. This path is an important link on the direct route from Wotton to Dursley.
11. Apparently Lost.
12. From Waterley Bottom to Ashen Plains Wood; leaves the road by a gate high to the left of the bank and follows hedge up to the wood.
13. Along southern edge of Ashen Plains Wood; track through the wood passable; no way-marking and possible confusion with new bull-dozed paths.
14. From Whiteway Cottage to Waterley Bottom; easily found from Waterley Bottom by remains of stile over the brook and a clear stile at the edge of the wood; path climbs through the woods and there can be some confusion caused by the forestry roads. At Whiteway Cottage a new stile from the road joins the wide track further down the slope.
15. From Waterley Bottom to Ridings Wood; definitive route too overgrown to use as a path; alternative route along hedgerow possible; where the route curves to the East at the top it is quite lost in a newly planted wood. Point where 15 and 16 cross no longer visible - see photograph no. 11).
16. From Ridings Wood to Waterley Bottom; to join 14 in Waterley Bottom; path clear at bottom of woods beside ruins of barn; leaves wood by sort of stile and then follows the field hedge - no sign of path on the ground - see photograph no.5 for intersection in Waterley Bottom with 14.
17. From Waterley Bottom to edge of Round Wood and out of parish; path walkable but undefined; intersection with 14 and 16 in Waterley Bottom needs an improved crossing of stream and bog.
18. Part of long route from Rushmire Farm, out of parish to the South and Whiteway Cottage on edge of parish in the North; crosses an open field with no clear markings on the ground; joins 21 at a double gate with parish boundary stone.
19 and 20. 19 not particularly useful as 20 fulfills similar function more pleasantly. 20 well defined through Ridings wood close to disused Chapel though forestry tracks can be confusing. - see photographs 1, 2, 3 and 4 for coverage of paths 18. 21 and 20.
21. From Tetbury Road Lodge - out of parish - to intersection with 18 and 20; just discernible on the ground as it crosses field and curves down to join 18 and 20.
22. Upper Wick; almost out of parish.
23. From Old Vicarage to Lowerhouse Lane; a gate gives access to a field with no sign of a path; route passes under a loose barbed wire fence into a second large field and joins Lowerhouse Lane by another gate.
24. From School to Cemetery; follow Nibley House farm track; John Eley prefers use of farmyard to passage through orchard; route then passes through big gate and left along brick wall; stile where 24 and 25 cross at hedge.
25. From The Street to Daisy Green Lane; no sign of this path being used over its full length; stiles and gates exist and it is possible to skirt the fields. It crosses 48 with an old stone from an earlier stile - no other indications of this path.- see photograph 13 for start.
26. From back of Innocks to Dursley Road; very overgrown in summer in spite of footpath sign at both ends - see photographs 14 and 15.
27. From Dursley Road to Forthay; signposted at both ends but rarely used; links The Street with Forthay - see photographs 15 and 16.
28. Through Forthay cottages.
29. From Forthay to Monument woods; signposted at Forthay end; not clear on the ground but by keeping hedge on left, you will find stile entrance to the woods - see photographs 18,19 and 20.
30. Part of Cotswold Way to Monument; main route from village to the Tyndale Monument; signposted from road; much used but stony and often muddy.
31 and 32. Continuation of 30 round Old Quarry. 32 is dangerously steep from the Monument down the bankside to Wood Lane (30).
33. From Pitt Court to Westridge Wood; signposted from Pitt Court.
34. Westridge Wood; way-marked with yellow arrows but easily confused with other forestry tracks.
35 - 38 Westridge Wood; woodland tracks, mainly walkable though sometimes hard to differentiate; only the Cotswold Way route is way-marked.
36. Combined with 34 makes a good round walk.
38. Leads from 34 to Bournstream; is signposted on the Wotton road.
41. Waterley House to road SE; stile visible in depths of thick hedge; gate entrance at SE end.
42. Continuation SE from 41; crosses orchard; gate access at one end; invisible on the ground and rarely if ever used.
43. Waterley Bottom to Laycombe Ditch Wood; continuation of 42; just visible on the ground.
44. From South end of 43 to Waterley Bottom; branches to the right just below Halfway Farm; track to farm now obstructed North of original farmyard; possible to climb stile opposite house and proceed in field outside the hedge; a stile has been provided for North passage. Main route now barred but there is a gate 50 yards to the North. Electric fences at various points; good stile to road.
45. Bassett Court to Katharine's; although there is no sign of a footpath, a series of field gates give a direct route across fields. At Katharine's there is an unbroken barbed wire fence and no way through.
46. Katharine's Cottage to Bassett Court lane; not in evidence on the ground but you can use Katherine's Cottage drive and a young planted avenue out to the lane when approaching from Bassett Court Lane. It is also possible to reach 45 over the hedge near the house.
47. No indication of this at any point starting from Daisy Lane.
48. From Bassett Court Lane to 25; starts where the lane from Bassett Court ends in a gateway; no sign of path on the ground but by following hedge to corner you can see the earlier stile stone at intersection with 25.
49. Continuation of 48 to Daisy Green Farm; invisible on ground; crossed by two streams; exit by gate at Daisy Farm.
50, 52 and 53. Kitenest to Howley; runs due East across flatland; 50 joins 52 and 51 at Elmcote Lane, 51 linking North to Daisy Green Lane. 52 is invisible on the ground but continues east to a gateway on Swinhay Lane where it crosses a stream on a rotten plank which is unsafe to walk on. 53 is again unmarked on the ground but easy to judge in spite of the removal of a hedge a third of the way along. Stile at one end and a hurdle at the other.
54. Howley Farm to Wotton Road; Not indicated in any way but easy to guess at. Half way along a gate has a barbed wire across the top with a section helpfully left unbarbed.
55. Vernals Lane SE to Parish boundary; blocked at West end by heap of old tyres - gypsy encampment. Path invisible on the ground as the two areas marked orchard on map have gone. Between these points it crosses a stream with an excellent bridge. At the parish boundary it crosses another stream.
56. Vernals Lane to Burrough Hill Farm; drive to farm easily seen.
57. Vernals Lane South to Parish Boundary; not marked but short and due South so easy to judge.
58. Parish Boundary East to Burrough Hill Farm; as 57.
59. Burrough Hill Farm SSE to Parish Boundary; not marked but easy to follow being near existing hedgerows with good gates to pass through.
51-54, 55, 56-59, 61; of these, only 54 seems to have a genuine use in 1981. 55 could provide a pleasant walk if improved from Swinhay to Wotton and is the shortest foot route.
60. From lane opposite Ridings View to Waterley Bottom; not in evidence at all being completely barbed wired where it should start - see photographs 8 and 9. No indications on the ground and at Waterley Bottom only the merest suggestion of where it might have come out - see photograph 10.
61. Daisy Farm to Daisy Green; Daisy Green Lane is metalled; Daisy Green itself is overgrown and the exit is unclear.
62. Lowerhouse Lane; part of the Cotswold Way; signposted and way-marked; much used; top end gets badly overgrown in late summer and bottom end suffers from springs making it extremely muddy most of the year - see photograph 12 for North end and mud.
63. Monument and Westridge Woods; well-worn part of the Cotswold Way.