Step in the right direction for neglected footpath

Volunteers repair Dereham Footpath 1

Volunteers repairing the steps which run down from the A47. - Credit: Submitted

A long-neglected footpath was shown some love last week when community groups came together to repair a set of wooden steps. 

On Wednesday June 16, Dereham Walkers are Welcome (WaW) collaborated with the Norfolk Ramblers to repair Dereham Footpath 1.

The footpath used to run from Bush Lane, just south of Etling Green, to Mattishall Road - until the Dereham bypass was built in 1978, cutting Bush Lane in two.

Volunteers repair the steps on Dereham Footpath 1

Volunteers repair the steps on Dereham Footpath 1 - Credit: Submitted

But while Bush Lane was permanently severed, the footpath remained. The route climbs a set of steps, crosses the dual carriageway through a gap in the crash barriers, before descending a second set of steps to approach a field leading to Mattishall Road.

WaW chair Ken Hawkins said: “Over time, the steps have deteriorated, with the southern set in particular turning into more of a slope. At the same time, encroaching vegetation has steadily obscured them.”

A before and after image of the repaired steps on Dereham Footpath 1

Before and after the repairs: 18 new boards were installed to repair the set of steps. - Credit: Submitted

Seven volunteers, including town and district councillor Philip Morton, turned out to help clear vegetation, remove rotten wood and hammer in 18 new boards.