Hertfordshire County Council Diversion Order 2023 – (Sawbridgeworth Footpath 1, Thorley Bridleway 10 and Thorley Footpath 11)

Last year we reported on the submission of a Diversion Order for three public rights of way on the Thorley / Sawbridgeworth parish border. The impacted rights of way link Thorley Church to the A1184 and are popular routes to the Thorley Wash Nature Reserve and River Stort. The diversions were first mooted several years ago when a planning application was submitted to extract gravel to the south of the bridleway and create an agricultural reservoir. The Diversion Order has recently been approved by Herts CC and is now open to the public.

The Definitive Map currently shows Thorley bridleway 010 running through Thorley Wash Farm but those of you familiar with it will know that it actually takes an entirely different route to the north of the farm. This Order has now formalised what has actually been in place for many years. The other main change is routing the bridleway away from the gravel workings to run along the southern perimeter of Thorley Wood. Although this will add some metres to the route it does provide a pleasant path alongside the remnants of Thorley Wood. A good clear path has now been created which is clearly waymarked at both ends.

The landowner has also taken the opportunity to clear other footpaths in the area – Thorley footpaths 003 and 011.

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