Rights of way campaigner John Trueman has accused the Cowdray Estate of trying to stop people using a public footpath on its land.
Mr Trueman who is also former editor of the on-line promotion website Midhurst Pages became concerned when he saw a ‘Bull-Keep Out’ sign on the Midhurst Way path above Benbow Pond.
“I didn’t go through the field and when I looked up the Ramblers guidance it said bulls were banned from fields crossed by rights of way unless they were under ten months old or not of a recognised dairy breed accompanied by cows or heifers. I’m country born and bred, but even with field glasses I wouldn’t be able to gauge a bull’s age.”
After Mr Trueman approached the Cowdray Estate, he noticed the sign had been altered so the ‘keep out’ part was covered in black plastic. “A separate notice ‘private do not enter’ still hangs over the gate which implies they are trying to keep people out. Walkers are looking over the gate too scared to go through the field and don’t know there is a way round it. There should at least be a diversion sign. I am a friend to the Cowdray Estate, but this has got my wondering what is going on.” He added: “The estate has gone to a lot of trouble to make Benbow, The Arboretum and the Jubilee Lime Avenue beautiful. But farms seem to think bulls and breeding take precedence over Farm Shop & Café customers who like to walk.”
A spokesman for Cowdray said the estate was unable to comment.
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