Leatherhead Footpath 75 is popular with Ramblers because it connects the path network in Effingham with the scenic areas of Oaken Wood and the nearby lakes, via a path on the west side of the Vineries. It is extensively used by local residents as a walking route between different parts of the village.
Quite apart from the considerable loss of access caused by closure there are two important issues;
- The proposal is unusual and, if approved, would create a precedent for schools all over the country to initiate similar closures.
- Individual and groups of walkers from other areas (eg London) frequently visit the area. They would be unfamiliar with the schools schedule of closures and this would cause considerable aggravation.
Our country has a unique network of Public Rights of Way, many dating back centuries. The Ramblers are intent on preserving the network and therefore oppose all footpath and bridleway closures.
Local Ramblers volunteers clear footpaths of obstructions and report problems to Surrey County Council. They carry out regular footpath surveys and report quality. Ramblers propose that maintenance and enhancement of public access to the countryside should form part of any new system of agricultural payments.