The Maresfield Footpaths Group
The Maresfield Footpaths group, led by John Smith, is a group of local volunteers, some from the Conservation Group who meet regularly to maintain the footpaths in and around the village and the wider Parish. It is now seven years since the Maresfield Footpaths group started looking after the footpaths in the parish (Maresfield, Nutley and Fairwarp).
Apart from occasional short breaks during the summer and at Christmas and a few days lost due to weather conditions and, of course the Covid pandemic they have been out each Wednesday morning from 09.30 until 12.30. From a start in 2014, by 2016 every stile in the parish had been inspected. With the exception of four which at that time were in good order, all these stiles were replaced. Forest steps and bridges have been repaired and, at some points, where there are steep or slippery banks, new steps installed. Stiles and bridges are checked regularly and remedial work carried out as required.
Each spring and summer brings new growth which threatens to block many of the footpaths and the Group continues to be active in cutting this back. Some footpaths, with vigorous hedge, nettle and bramble growth need maintaining more often than once a year. Heavy rain and high winds lead to paths being blocked by fallen trees and these are cleared as soon as the Group is aware of the hazard.
The same weather plays havoc with road signs and the painted wooden direction posts and village gates which, as weather permits, are cleaned and repainted by the Group. In carrying out these activities which, hopefully, add to the amenity of the parish (and certainly any walking groups that are encountered while working are most appreciative), the group obtains the permission of the landowners who have all been extremely helpful.
The members of the group have changed over the years as members have moved to other areas or decided to pursue other interests. If you would like to be involved in this sort of voluntary work then please contact John Smith by email: firstname.lastname@example.org