Earlier in the year residents asked the Parish Council to confirm whether access to the footpaths around the Decennial / horseshoe woods were by permission or whether any rights of way existed, or could have come into existence.
Since then the Parish Council has been collecting evidence from residents – their experiences of using the paths for dog walking, commuting, school field trips etc. During that time the land has also been sold to new owners as part of the sale of Tollerton Hall.
For many years the Hall has been used as a business, but the new owners are looking to convert it back into a home. Whilst Tollerton Hall is a part of the heritage of our community it is in private ownership and the grounds and gardens around it are part of that home, including the walking routes that the Parish Council has been asked to look at.
The Chairman of the Parish Council and the owner of Tollerton Hall have met with the County Council rights of way team who have confirmed that there are no recorded rights of way on land owned by or adjacent to the Hall. Through the diligence of previous land owners all access since 1997 has been permissive—meaning that no rights of way could have been acquired in this time. Routes across the fields from Cotgrave Road would always seem to have been by permission.
The Parish Council has heard from residents who have used the paths through the woods – including a loop in the woods (the ‘red route’) and linking routes from Cotgrave Lane (the ‘blue route’) and Tollerton Lane (the ‘green route’) for many years prior to this and the rights of way team have explained that if this is the case it would be possible to apply for these to be recorded as rights of way under a process known as the “20 year rule”
The Parish Council and the owners of the Hall are exploring the process and implications of making an application for applying the rule and also other permissive options and will provide more information about this.
Walkers are asked to respect the privacy of the owners, particularly around the Hall, buildings and lake.