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Archive for May, 2015

Hurtwood for sale

Some of you may have seen or heard the news about Shere Manor Estate having to sell part of The Hurtwood. As you can imagine something like this often raises many questions and rumours, and as I’ve already had to answer quite a few of those questions and heard quite a few of the rumours, I thought it wise to try and give you as much information as I can.

As you many of you already know, The Hurtwood is all privately owned by four landowners, with Shere Manor Estate owning the majority and who now need to raise a substantial amount of money. The areas that are for sale are, all of Pitch Hill, Bentley Copse, the eastern part of Winterfold, Shere Heath and part of Holmbury Hill between the Ewhurst road and Radnor Road, (where the bike trail BKB is), in total around 800 acres.

Currently, you all enjoy access on foot, horse and bike on nearly all of the area, this is because of the original Deed of Dedication of 1926, but now if the land changes ownership, the new landowner is not obliged to honour that original deed. However, the land will then come under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW). This Act allows access on foot to remain exactly as it is now, though any new landowner would not be obliged to maintain any of the non-statutory paths, only the actual Rights of way as seen on a Ordnance survey map, for instance, but technically you could still walk all over the area.

The CROW Act does not provide access for horse riders and bikers, this would purely be down to the discretion of the new land owner. Bikes and Horses would however still be allowed on the statuary network of Bridleways.

Currently it’s business as usual, and we’ll just have to wait and see who the new landowner is and hopefully they will carry on allowing us to maintain the access agreements as they are and no-one will notice the change, (as has happened recently on Winterfold Heath and the western part of Winterfold). I’ll update this blog as and when we know any more.

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