Nature reserve footpath re-route plans revised

The wetlands at Marfield nature reserve near Masham. (S)
The wetlands at Marfield nature reserve near Masham. (S)

PLans to re-route a popular footpath across a Masham nature reserve have been revised after fears access to the reserve could be lost.

A path across Marfield nature reserve is to be re-routed to stay on dry ground, but plans to route it around the edge of the site have been scrapped.Records show the existing right of way that runs north-south through the Marfield site passes through what is now one of the reserve’s ponds.

Site owners Lafarge Aggregates applied to North Yorkshire County Council to divert the path away from the water.

However, over the years regular users of the path had formed another route through the centre of the reserve between the ponds.

Masham Parish Council and members of the public objected to Lafarge’s original application to divert the path around the edge of the site, although the company spoke out to assure residents they had no plans to close access to the reserve.

Now a revised plan has been produced, with the original right of way diverted to avoid the ponds but still passing through the centre of the reserve, and a ‘permissive’ path around the east of the Marfield site.