I visited the orchard in Turnditch yesterday afternoon to trim back some weeds and to check the trees. Those familiar with the site will know there's a public footpath across one end of the land adjacent to the river bank. I've no problems with allowing the public to walk across that part of the land and generally the public are well behaved, except for a couple of dog owners who do not clear up their dog's shit from the land.
The longer term objective of the project is to open up the orchard area as a permitted recreation spot for the local inhabitants/school kids from Turnditch, Shottle and Cowers Lane. At present it is not safe thanks to debris dumped during the previous owners tenure, but we're working toward the target. We also need to undertake some work to make the river bank safe but accessible.
When I arrived I noticed someone had wrapped bright red marker tape around the top bar of the roadside gate. They'd also affixed an A5 sized red plastic notice on the inside of our gatepost announcing the name of an Ashbourne running club. I can only presume they are planning some event which follows the route of the public footpath. They'd made no attempt or the courtesy to contact us to seek permission to place these markers on our property. It's not difficult to contact us; this blog address and a contact phone number is shown on the same gate post. The notice makes it clear the orchard is private land but the public footpath remains open.
Normally when someone wants access we'll bend over backwards to help out, but this lack of respect does make us wonder whether we should be so free with permission. I removed their litter from our land. Let's hope their event causes no further damage.
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