Kirdford walkway restored

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A picturesque walkway used long ago by Kirdford villagers has been restored to its former glory.

It is one of the first projects to be carried out as a result of the recent Kirdford Community Led Plan which identified a vision for the future of the parish over the next ten to 15 years.

The historic causeway path running along Glasshouse Lane connected Kirdford’s recently refurbished Grade 1 listed St John’s Church with the River Kird.

Many years ago it disappeared under a mass of overgrown grass and hedgerows and had been unusable for as long as anyone could remember.

When villagers decided to carry out their community led plan they started talking to elderly residents who identified the existence of the causeway path which they said had been in constant use many years ago.

Chairman of the Community Led Plan (CLP) Josef Ransley told the Observer: “Consisting of about a half mile of locally quarried ‘winkelstone’ – a type of sandstone quarried in Fittleworth, this beautiful feature that forms part of a wide network of footpaths around the village had been lost for many years.”

Villagers thought it was so important to restore the historic pathway which lay inside the village’s conservation area that Kirdford Parish Council allocated funding for the work as part of its programme to use developers’ contribution funding for the general improvement of the village footpath network.

Mr Ransley added: “Set in the historic part of this beautiful village the restoration of the causeway provides a wonderful enhancement and insight into the character of a village setting within the North Western Ridges area of the South Downs.

“A developing destination for walkers and stopping point for cyclists, Kirdford Village with its award-winning shop and café, Kirdford Village Stores, provides an ideal rest stop for those enjoying the beauty of the village and its surrounding area, and the restoration work now completed will no doubt attract more people to enjoy this wonderful place on the road to nowhere.”

The plan was compiled by villagers, with the support of the parish council, to establish ‘a vision for the evolution and long term sustainability of Kirdford Parish and Village’.

It was during community consultation by the steering group on a wide range of village issues the existence of the causeway was discovered. The plans were submitted to Chichester District Council for guidance when planners are considering planning applications for the village.