On Wednesday , July 23rd, Ceredigion County Council sent a party of seven people to trespass onto our land to "maintain" Public Footpath 73/63/C under Section 41 of the Highways Act1980. There were three council footpath officers led by Ian Dutch, three self-employed contractors armed with strimmers and a community policeman.
First of all , footpath 73/63/C has never existed on the ground since its supposed creation in 2007,because over 120 metres of it, is up to seven metres over the edge of a 150 ft high cliff on the council's Footpath Creation Order maps, which the law states must "define" the route of the path.
This is the reason why, after eight years, the council has been seeking a Diversion Order called 73/63/D to bring the air-borne footpath inland. Of course, neither footpath currently exists on the ground, which was why a Planning Inspector was confronted by an overgrown jungle on his site visit, linked to a two-day Public Inquiry last Thursday, July 17th..
Therefore, I wish it to be known that the council party were wilfully trespassing on our land on July 23rd because Footpath 73/63/C cannot possibly be walked .......let alone be "maintained" .......being that much of it is in mid-air. Unless , of course, Ian Dutch is the original "Flying Dutch man " !! The group even climbed over a solid sheep fence to enter our property from Nant-y-Croi, because there has never been a stile on our eastern boundary !
Section 41 does not allow them to trespass off a footpath route or allow them to walk into, and damage crops and rare plants in SSSI fields. They had absolutely no CDM Health and Safety documentation and they had no right to destroy the habitats of rare ground-nesting birds before the end of July.under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the European Habitats Directive1992 .When I asked Ian Dutch what law allowed him onto our land, he replied "Section 291 of the Highways Act !" When I said, " Your letter states Section 41 !! "...he responded ..."That's it !"
By the way, not a single footpath or bridleway has been added to Ceredigion County Council's Definitive Map since its inception in 1966, even though the law demands that the Definitive Map should be "constantly upgraded" !
Also, I'm sure that the residents of St Dogmaels and the Poppit area will be interested to know that they still live in Ceredigion according to Ceredigion County Council's official Definitive Map, which must accurately define the county boundaries !! That is what "definitive" means !!
Finally, how is it that cash-strapped Ceredigion Council could send three contractors to clear an unwalkable cliff-top path that does not exist on the ground, whilst the Gwbert to Ferwig council road has almost closed in with uncut hedge-bank foliage?
At the end of July, it has not been cut once in 2014 . Buses and cars struggle to get through and vehicles are being scratched by foliage ! The council caused a week of chaos last week, by closing the Gwbert Road at Patch in July, causing a drop in trade to our tourist attraction, Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park and two busy hotels in Gwbert. Of course, there was not even a word of council apology as cars , buses and lorries had to reverse back a hundred yards or more ,on a narrow track almost closed in with foliage !
Where are Ceredigion County Council's priorities? Why are the contractors not clearing our roads?
L J Jenkins,
Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park,