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£300 fencing boost to discourage 4WD use in Broadwindsor
3:00pm Monday 25th February 2013 in News
RESIDENTS are battling to protect an ancient byway in West Dorset from being ruined.
They say that Common Water Lane in Broadwindsor has suffered in recent years from off-road drivers leaving the track itself and challenging themselves on the lane’s soft verges.
They have formed the Friends of Common Water Lane and have enlisted West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin’s help to solve the problem.
But they have also now embarked on a management plan to protect the ancient trackway from further damage.
The group has won a Wessex Watermark Award of £300 to help buy post and rail fencing.
They invited Wessex Water ecologist, Ellen McDouall to the site to see the progress.
Friend Dr Mike Lowing said: “Common Water Lane has been part of a community consultation and is listed as a community concern in our parish plan.
“We have taken practical steps to protect the lane’s verges and we are beginning to fence them off, with access gates for agricultural vehicles.
“The council has agreed to dig and maintain the lane’s drainage ditches and with every pound that we can raise another foot of fencing can be added.
“Our Wessex Watermark Award will roll out 90 metres of fencing and we are delighted with their support.”
Common Water Lane is part of the Wessex Ridgeway, one of the best-known ancient trackways in England, probably dating from Neolithic times.
Dr Lowing said the pleasure of exploring the lane and discovering the flora growing in its verges was until recently enjoyed by locals and visitors to the area.
He said it is the spoiling of the lane’s verges by 4WD vehicles that prompted residents to take action to prevent the incursions and further damage to the soil and plants.