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

We’ve recently received notification 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 extraction is now underway and the Diversion Order submitted appears to be very similar to the initial proposals.

The Definitive Map shows the bridleway running through Thorley Wash Farm but those of you familiar with the bridleway will know that it actually takes an entirely different route to the north of the farm. This Order will effectively formalise what has been in place for many years. The main change is routing the bridleway away from the gravel working to run along the southern perimeter of Thorley Wood. Although this will add some metres to the route I personally think that it will provide a more interesting journey. Our key concern is ensuring that a bridleway is created that is fit for purpose i.e. it should be suitable for walkers, cyclists and horse riders throughout the year.

Any representation about or objections to the Order may be sent in writing to Gavin Harbour- Cooper, Definitive Map Officer, Countryside and Rights of Way Service, CHN101, Environment and Transport Department, Hertfordshire County Council, County Hall, Pegs Lane, Hertford, Hertfordshire SG13 8DN. Email: row@hertfordshire.gov.uk (ref: EH/438/DIV) not later than 21st April 2023.

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