Last stile removed in Wales

Published Wednesday, 22nd April 2015
Woodland walk in Rotherham
Woodland walk in Rotherham

The final obstacle to easy access to walkers in one corner of the Rotherham borough has been removed.

On Thursday April 23, volunteers from Rotherham Metro Ramblers removed the last stile in the Wales parish.

The volunteers worked with with officers from the Council's Rights of Way Team, to replace the stile with a kissing gate.

Sited at the edges of the Kiveton Colliery Park linking a footpath to Harthill, the kissing gate will allow easy access for all pedestrians, particularly families with buggies.

As well as being part of the 'Miles Without Stiles' initiative that was first launched in the Lake District, the work is also part of the Connect 2 Project which local people funded by winning a telephone vote a few years ago.

Richard Pett, Rights of Way Officer for the Council, said that although stiles are a traditional part of the countryside, they are necessary to keep livestock in.

He added: "However, while some still play a vital role, others have become redundant as many local farmers move away from livestock farming.

"The local council, local access forum and national user groups would like to see the majority of stiles removed to make the countryside even more accessible to more of the public.

"Here in Rotherham it is through the work of our team and our brilliant groups of volunteers from the Metro Ramblers that we can keep the local network of paths open as well as continually trying to make it easier for everyone to use.

"Thanks must also go to the local farmers in the Wales area for all their help and assistance. It means that with its relatively flat land, Wales lends itself beautifully to greater access for everyone who likes to get out into the Rotherham countryside.

“We will be looking to make other parishes free of stiles and will continue to remove unreasonable barriers wherever we can and replace them either with kissing gates or just leave open gaps."