Council say 'you shall not pass' as nature trail saga shows no signs of resolution

Metal palisade fence at entrance to multi-use nature trail path, on Holme Lane, Nottinghamshire, between Radcliffe-on-Trent and Cotgrave, pictured from front with path dusty and road in foreground, and trees and shrubery behind and on both sides and signpost with blue signs on on left
-Credit: (Image: Supplied)

Nottinghamshire County Council has erected a permanent fence at the entrances to a path in a Nottinghamshire village, as a saga over its safety shows no signs of a resolution. The multi-user nature trail, between Holme Lane and Stragglethorpe Road in Radcliffe-on-Trent, has been closed since January.

It was closed off by the authority due to safety concerns after the banks of the path, which is raised on an old railway line, were dug into from the grounds of a traveller campsite. But frustrated users moved the temporary fencing to skirt round and continued to use the path - leading the council to now install metal palisade fencing to keep the general public out for good.

Radcliffe resident Andrew Keen, who also spoke to Nottinghamshire Live in April, said: "We've been told it's been closed because it could collapse and for our safety. But if that's the case, why haven't they evacuated the people on the caravan park? The frustrating thing this time of year is you want to go out walking. People in Cotgrave are equally as disgruntled by it all."

The path, which was converted from an old railway line three years ago, is not meant to be closed permanently. But the council has explained to residents that working out how to make it safe, and carrying out the work, is simply taking a long time.

Dog walker Peter Lord said: "I'm not convinced that it could collapse at any time. The fact they've put the permanent fence up doesn't look good really in terms of getting it resolved. Anybody wanting to walk or cycle has to brave the A52 or Stragglethorpe Lane. The community is slightly less for losing an amenity. It means we have less open spaces. We're disappointed.

"At the very least, there's no great feeling that anything is going to happen very soon. Even if something does, the likelihood is we're going to end up paying for it - for someone else's vandalism - out of our own council tax. You feel a bit cheated.

The Cedar Lodge caravan park, on the A52, backs onto the path's embankment. It was from land next to this site that a digger was seen excavating in January.

Two caravans were subsequently parked on a ledge created by the excavation of part of the bank. Nottinghamshire Live approached the campsite in March for comment but didn't hear back.

Nottinghamshire County Council confirmed they had ben recieving "quite a lot" of complaints about the closure of the path. Updates to its progress will be posted on the council's current disruption page.

A council conservation manager said: “The County Council has now received all of the specialist reports that it commissioned and it is understood that significant reinforcement works will be required to stabilise the embankment. The next step is to get the required works designed and costed, and this work is now underway.

"The council has been advised that, until the embankment can be stabilised, there is a real risk that the slope could slip without warning and take a section of the greenway with it. The route will, therefore, need to remain closed until it is made safe.

"We ask that members of the public do not move the barriers that have been put in place or attempt to use the closed section, as this could put yourself and others at risk.”