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Miles without stiles - a stile free parish

Until recently the footpaths in Great Bedwyn parish had a selection of squeeze stiles, wooden stiles and many awkward to use and in disrepair stiles. These have been replaced in the last 2 years with 9 gates – kissing gates or pedestrian gates depending on location.

The replacement gates have been installed by a team of Bedwyn Footpaths Group volunteers, aided and supervised by our local Countryside Access Officer, and with the cooperation of landowners. Funding for the purchase of the gates was obtained from several sources; the Pewsey area board, the parish council, North Wessex Downs AONB, and private donations.

Stiles can have their own charm, sometimes with a quirky or unique design but they are all too often in poor repair. Nimble walkers who enjoy a challenge will find that there are still plenty left to negotiate in the surrounding countryside.

However the 20 miles of rights of way in Great Bedwyn village can now be walked without the hindrance of stiles, of benefit to those whose mobility might be compromised by uncooperative knees or hips.

It is believed that Great Bedwyn could be the first parish in Wiltshire to be able to make the claim to be stile-free.


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