Parish Paths Partnership

The partnership is between Herts. County Council Environment Department through its countryside access officers, HCC Countryside Management Service and Hunsdon Parish Council. Their aim is to maintain and enhance the rights of way network. For its part the parish council’s role is to monitor the condition of the paths and ensure they are kept open for public use and that any structures, i.e. stiles, gate, bridges etc. are kept up to standard. To achieve these aims there is a close working relationship between the three branches of the partnership as well as with the local landowners and farmers. Grants are available from the county council to cover costs of materials and labour where local volunteers are not available.

A secondary role of the partnership is to make people aware of the footpath network and to encourage full use by means of publicity and production of maps and leaflets or media such as this web site.

The parish council formally joined the partnership scheme in May 1999. As parish paths warden the services were enlisted of David Hunt, a former parish councillor whose previous responsibility was for the local rights of way. His new role was to act as co-ordinator with day-to-day responsibility for upkeep of the paths and liaison with local farmers. John Ashley, parish clerk, acted as the second member of the team providing administrative back up and responsibility for the implementation of capital projects and financial management of county council grants. Unfortunately due to other commitments David Hunt was unable to give such time to the project as he had hoped and reluctantly withdrew early in 2001. John Ashley although retiring from the clerk’s position at the same time agreed to take over as footpath warden and  continued in this capacity until 2014, when Bud and Jackie Carthy jointly took on the role.

Their initial task was to carry out a comprehensive survey of each of the rights of way in the parish detailing the surface conditions and condition of structures. This was submitted to the county council rights of way department together with recommendations for improvements and over the next year various works were carried out to implement these. Farmers were involved with a view to enlisting their co-operation in keeping paths across arable fields open and at the same time a programm of periodic mowing and strimming of field edge paths was organised by the countryside access officer at HCC to ensure that these were kept open throughout the year.

The next step was to tell the public about the facilities available. See Promoting public rights of way

IF YOU BECOME AWARE OF ANY PUBLIC PATHS FALLING BELOW STANDARD, THEN CONTACT PARISH PATHS WARDENS, BUD AND JACKIE CARTHY ON 01920 872597 OR e-mail bud@budcarthy.com