Blackberry Hill – Whatton FP1

PLEASE NOTE: CURRENTLY (APRIL 2020) THE FOOTBRIDGE OVER THE WHIPLING IS IN NEED OF REPAIR AND THE FOOTPATH AT THIS POINT IS CLOSED UNTIL THE 30TH APRIL 2020. THE IMPACT OF THE CORONAVIRUS MAY FURTHER DELAY IT’S REPAIR.

DESCRIPTION

The footpath extends to approximately 1.5 kilometers in the parish, used as part of a circular walk through either Oston or Aslockton will provide a walk in the order of 7 to 8 kilometers.
Within the parish 807 metres are level walking, some 600 metres are ascending and descending Blackberry Hill, the percentage of climb is 18.8% eastbound and 25.8% westbound. The total ascent eastbound is 5.9 metres and 10.8 metres westbound.

Blackberry Hill - FP 1

LOCATION AND USAGE


THE FOOTPATH IS TYPICALLY NEGOTIABLE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, ALTHOUGH IN WINTER IT IS VERY MUDDY AND UNSUITABLE FOR PUSHCHAIRS ETC. AND WELLINGTON BOOTS ARE RECOMMENDED IN WET WEATHER. PEOPLE WITH BREATHING DIFFICULTIES SHOULD ALSO NOTE THAT THE PATH OVER BLACKBERRY HILL IS RELATIVELY STEEP.

PLEASE NOTE: THE AREA AROUND THE FOOTBRIDGE OVER THE WHIPLING IS PRONE TO FLOODING – YOU ARE ADVISED NOT TO USE THE PATH IF THERE IS EVIDENCE OF FLOODING OR THE WHIPLING IS VERY HIGH.

There is a field gate at the start of the footpath and the path passes through a gap next to a second field gate.
IS ADVISABLE TO KEEP DOGS ON A LEAD WHILST ON THE LENGTH OF THE FARM TRACK AS THERE MAY BE SHEEP.
There are sheep hurdles across the gap, which is easy move open (PLEASE CLOSE THEM AFTER YOU HAVE PASSED THROUGH) The actual line of the footpath is blocked by a sheep-fence, but there is a wide track to the side of the path.

THERE IS NO INDICATION AS TO IF THE SHEEP FENCE IS LIVE FOR SAFETY SAKE ASSUME IT IS!!!.

The path crosses the River Whippling at new footbridge (November 2008) there is a gate at the entrance to the bridge.
The path then crosses Blackberry Hill, under the railway line and across the field to the footbridge over the dyke. SHEEP MAY BE GRAZING IN THIS FIELD DEPENDING ON THE LOCATION OF THE SHEEP IT MAY BE ADVISABLE TO PUT DOGS ON A LEAD.Kissing Gates are located on the north side of the railway tunnel at the entrance to the grass field (Butler&s field) and at the exit to the field over a footbridge.

This footpath can be used as a circular route either via Orston or across the bridge at Orston via Aslockton.
Turn left towards the River Smite, the footpath joins Orston FP 10 (via Elton footpath (FP) along the River Smite.

MAINTENANCE AND IMPROVEMENT HISTORY

November 2008 – New bridge installed over the River Whippling.
January 2014 – stones have been placed at the entrance to the footbridge on the gate side. New waymarker placed on the track and the exit from the footbridge (east side).
July 2016 – the footpath between the foot-bridge and the arable portion of Blackberry Hill was overgrown and impassable. The landowner cut half the land (including the portion over which the footpath runs) in July. However, without regular maintenance the footpath will be overgrown very quickly.
June 2019 – the Local Highways Authority accept that it is their responsibility to maintain the segment of the footpath between the footbrisge over the Whipling and the start of the arable land. It will be included on their maintenance schedule. The &frsit cut& under this arrangment took place on
Tuesday 18th June 2019.
October 2019 – following a problem with the footbrdige over the Whipling the footpath was closed at this point for a period of 21 days while the bridge was repaired.
February 2020 – the footpath remains closed pending the rebuilding of the bridge.