|Posted by wightdogs on August 2, 2010 at 11:19 AM|
Following seeing some people removing ragwort from fields in Ryde between:
We have learnt that the IW council are renting the land out and it is being fenced in in order that New Forest ponies can be kept there.
This has been a popular recreation area with local people for many years, and is one of the few remaining dog exercising areas close to Ryde.
Obviously local people arent going to be too happy about it but the council consider that they are the landowner and although they may be permitted to lease the land we are getting reports that this area is not being professionally fenced in, rather makeshift barbed wire barrier is being installed including adjacent to Public footpath R 55, specifically the section which runs from the railway crossing in the direction of Nicholson Road and Great Preston Road.
Barbed wire causing a nuisance to the highway (which includes Public footpaths) is covered by the Highways Act 1980 section 164
Section 164. Power to require removal of barbed wire
(1) Where on land adjoining a highway there is a fence made with barbed wire, or having barbed wire in or on it, and the wire is a nuisance to the highway, a competent authority may by notice served on the occupier of the land require him to abate the nuisance within such time, not being less than one month nor more than six months from the date of service of the notice, as may be specified in it.
For the purposes of this section -
(a) the competent authorities, in relation to any highway, are the Highway Authority and also (where they are not the Highway Authority) the local authority for the area in which the highway is situated;
(b) 'barbed wire' means wire with spikes or jagged projections, and barbed wire is to be deemed to be a nuisance to a highway if it is likely to be injurious to persons or animals lawfully using the highway.
(2) If at the expiration of the time specified in the notice the occupier has failed to comply with the notice, a magistrates' court, if satisfied on complaint made by the authority that the wire is a nuisance to the highway, may order the occupier to abate the nuisance and, if he fails to comply with the order within a reasonable time, the authority may do whatever may be necessary in execution of the order. and recover from him the expenses reasonably incurred by them in so doing.
(3) If the local authority who are a competent authority in relation to the highway concerned are the occupiers of the land in question proceedings under this section may be taken against them by any ratepayer within the area of that local authority and the foregoing provisions apply accordingly in relation to him and to the authority as they apply in relation to an authority and to an occupier of land.
However bear in mind that the council haven't addressed the dangerous fence adjacent to Public Footpath R103, a short distance from this location, which has been in this condition for two years and despite a member of this website receiving compensation from them after his dog was badly injured.
Please remember that if you or your dog sustain injury due to barbed wire, even if you are trespassing, you may have a claim against both the landowner and whoever is leasing the land.
No doubt there are plenty of personal injury solicitors out there who I'm sure would be more than willing to consider your case on a no win no fee basis.
Please pass on your complaints/concerns to the council, and feel free to copy them to this website as we will be compiling a dossier of evidence which will be available to anyone who sustains injury.
Isle of Wight
UPDATE - 3 August 2010
Here are some pictures of the state of play so far. The map above shows the area which has been fully fenced in so far as a darker shade of orange. We are unsure whether the triangular field to the right, which the houses along the Great Preston Road back onto, has been fenced off as yet. ( UPDATE this triangular field has now also been fenced) But the other fields had open access today apart from the barbed wire installed at the ponts shown in the photos,
This is looking towards the Post Office sorting depot in Nicholson Road from the first field having crossed the railway line show at point "A" on the map above. We assume this was an arson attack and we do not know if it is connected to the fencing of this land, however from the people I spoke to there is a great deal of unrest and resentment over the way this has been handled, and the pathetic and dangerous attempts at fencing.
This is taken a bit further on along Footpath R 55 Showing the makeshift stringing of barbed wire at point "B" in the map above. Note the trailing barbed wire on the ground adjacent to this Public Right Of Way. When horses are coming the cowboys are never far behind.
I spoke to someone who said when he saw them placing this barbed wire here he had pointed out to them that it was dangerous, he ended up being told to F**K off.
I injured my leg on the barbed wire shown shortly before taking this photo (see below)
This was taken at point "C" in the map above it shows the corner of the field where it emerges onto Public Footpath R54 which runs alongside the railway line. As you can see once again we have makeshift Barbed Wire loosely slung across. Remember this is IW council owned land and assumably they have terms in the lease that fencing must be of a professional standard, especially adjacent to a PROW.
My leg after walking into a loose strand of barbed wire on public footpath R 55 shortly before taking the photo two above this one. After cutting my leg I had moved the strand of barbed wire back off the footpath prior to taking the photo.
UPDATE - 4 August 2010
Further photos which have been emailed to us this morning.
This shows a section of fencing that has been installed at point "D" on the map above. The person who sent it to us informs us thet he was walking his dog in the field on the other side of this fence, where there were no notices saying he couldnt do so and the entrance where he came in was unfenced. In fact the situation was unchanged to that of recent years when access hasnt been barred. Whilst walking along his dog ran under this fence and he had to follow in order to retrieve his dog which is when he took the two photos he sent us. As you can see this is hardly stock proof fencing.
This photo was taken at point "E" on the map above. This clearly illustrates how the fencing on this council owned land is being bodged. There are old pallets included here in this "budget" approach and behind this they have stacked up cut branches of blackthorn and brambles. Very professional!
Incidentally blackthorn has vicious thorns which are well known for causing wounds which turn septic. I consider whoever is placing cut branches of blackthorn are doing so in a spiteful act likely to cause nasty injuries.
This is also being done at entrances to these fields alongside footpath R 54 which runs parallel to the railway line.