Coastal path plan sparks farm fears
PUBLISHED: 06:20 24 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:45 24 May 2010
FARMERS in Wick St Lawrence say plans for a new coastal footpath could spell disaster for their businesses. Roger Green and Fred Parsons run farms off Wick Road and a proposed walking route along the North Somerset coast would run straight through their l
FARMERS in Wick St Lawrence say plans for a new coastal footpath could spell disaster for their businesses.Roger Green and Fred Parsons run farms off Wick Road and a proposed walking route along the North Somerset coast would run straight through their land.Plans for the trail, which would run between Clevedon and Weston, have been put forward for public consultation by North Somerset Council.Mr Green, whose family has run a farm in Wick St Lawrence for nearly 50 years, said: "I have asked the consultants how they plan to keep my bulls separate from the trail and I've been told it is my responsibility. I am not prepared to take liability for that."If I can't put my cows and bulls there, I can't operate and it could make me go bust. I hope somebody is going to tell me how the council proposes to create this trail."Mr Parsons, whose family has run farms in the area since 1839, said: "I have asked how people will be stopped from straying from the footpath as walkers aren't always sure where a footpath ends. "Also, nothing has been said about how cattle will be kept separate from people."I don't want walkers to go across a path through my land unless the council can compensate us."Many people who own land in the area object to the plans as it will affect their farming."North Somerset's countryside officer, Gareth Withers, said: "This is a consultation period and we have made public the details the consultants have suggested. We are happy to talk to any concerned landowners and are in contact with the National Farmers' Union and agreed to meet its representatives. We are open to discussing the matter further."The consultation period finishes on September 30. Copies of the proposal are available from Somerset House in Oxford Street, Weston, and in North Somerset libraries.