For the past eight years the public footpath path running around the north and east edge of the lake has been closed for safety reasons. To stop access, the developers, ‘Lakes by Yoo’, have applied the same legislation which is used to protect the public on highways, for example, from contractors’ excavations. However in this case the danger was from the building of houses which were not even on the path.
The site is a large development of exclusive ‘lodges’ which surround the lake and these are set in a gated community protected by 24 hour security and numerous cameras. For the past seven years Cirencester Ramblers Footpath Committee has been working closely with local parish council to monitor the situation and challenging the developers at every opportunity. We have walked the path, spoke at public meetings and lobbied Gloucestershire County Council. We have sort legal advice from Ramblers lawyers and initiated the potential for a judicial review.
All our hard work has paid off; the developer announced at the start of the year the intention to reopen the path. Also they will create more available routes and dedicate other paths as public rights of way. The reopening of the Bowmoor Lake path on November 1st 2016 is the first step in this plan. We will continue to monitor developments through the planning process to ensure that the additional improvements are delivered.
It is anticipated that a walk incorporating the path will be on the walks programme in the near future. If you would like to walk the path, which is near Whelford, it is easily accessible off the Lechlade to Fairford road. Please contact Richard Holmes for more details.