Stody Estate is delighted to announce that key areas of its permissive scheme are to be kept open beyond January 2018. This includes two highly popular dog walking areas near Briston and Edgefield as well as several walks and bridlepaths close to the Estate’s neighbouring villages.
Stody Estate and its local parish councils have an agreement in place whereby the Estate will fund 100% of the insurance, health & safety, maintenance and management costs attributed to the sections of the areas remaining open. Stody Estate will continue to have the legal protection that these areas are permissive and not permanent.
Rules of use remain that the paths can only be used in day light hours and all dogs are to be kept on leads at all times, unless in the two designated ‘open access’ dog walking areas.
The Permissive Access Scheme
The Permissive Access Scheme has for 20 years provided the vital regulatory and legal framework within which these designated paths and areas have successfully operated. They provided legal confirmation that these paths were permissive, not permanent, and defined their rules of use, such as only to be used in daylight hours and all dogs to be kept on leads.
DEFRA also provided the majority of the essential funding required which, in part, helped to cover the cost to the landowner of public liability insurance, health & safety, maintenance, loss of farming and environmental income, supervision, specialist equipment, fencing, litter collection and signage costs.
Stody Estate’s approach
Aware of how popular these paths and walking areas had become, the Estate actively lobbied and discussed with all levels of Government to try to renew the Permissive Access Scheme beyond January 2018. The Estate researched many other forms of grant funding and engaged with various farming and wildlife industry groups, e.g. Norfolk’s Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group (“FWAG”), the Ramblers Association, The British Horse Society, the National Farmers Union and Country Landowners Association, as well as with many other farmers with similar schemes. Over the past six months, Stody Estate has been in close discussion with representatives of its neighbouring Parish Councils and many concerned local residents and users. However, despite the combined efforts of national farming and conservation groups and many individual landowners and farmers, on a local and national level, these schemes are all coming to a close and no replacement scheme or funding has been found.
"We were acutely aware of how popular the permissive areas on Stody Estate have become over the last 20 years and are absolutely delighted that we have been able to keep two dog walking areas and several walks and bridlepaths close to our neighbouring villages open. This is entirely due to a coordinated effort with our local parish councils and the Estate offering to fund the costs of these areas beyond January 2018"