Harrow and rights of way
mobbsey at gn.apc.org
Sun Dec 11 13:25:52 GMT 2011
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Have a look at this:
Harrow school rows with walkers over right to ramble in its grounds
Campaigners say Churchill's alma mater will not budge after blocking a historic right of
way and turning a stroll into a trek
Daniel Boffey, The Observer, Sunday 11th December 2011
It is a battle that Harrow's most famous former pupil, Winston Churchill, might well have
relished. The venerable public school, which boasts eight former prime ministers and two
European kings among its illustrious alumni, has become embroiled in a heated dispute with
local walkers, after the school gated up a 19th-century footpath that meanders through its
400 acres of grounds.
The north-west London branch of the Ramblers Association has dispatched legal letters
demanding the school allow walkers access to the path. The local council is also backing
the walkers and has ordered the school's headmaster to open up the right of way.
Yet Harrow has remained steadfast in the face of local protests. The school has even
commissioned a private security firm, RFA Security, to patrol the grounds as part of a
"developing anti-trespass policy", although it claims this is unrelated. There have also
been claims that clay-pigeon shooting and archery lessons have been taking place
threateningly close to parts of the path still open.
Has no one read the Highways Act? Section 333 gives the public the specific right to
"remove as much as the obstruction as is necessary to pass". In other words, if you're
walking down a right of way and it's blocked you are legitimately able to unblock it. E.g.
when I go out walking locally I nearly always carry a small foldable saw and bolt-action
wire cutters -- just doing my bit for the "big society" by keeping open the local paths!
Seriously, people should just go for a walk, suitably equipped, and using a copy of the
definitive map to make sure they're in the right place, and punch a hole through any
obstruction that's in the way!
"We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government,
nor are we for this party nor against the other but we are
for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom,
that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness,
righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with
God, and with one another, that these things may abound."
(Edward Burrough, 1659 - from 'Quaker Faith and Practice')
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