Landowners, David and Kay Emanuel who own a piece of land to the rear of Valley Road, together with Henley Town Council as joint landowners, have dedicated a new public footpath running generally south from Henley Bridleway 22 (‘Pack and Prime Lane’) to meet Henley Footpath 6, along the edge of a field known as ‘Forty Acre Field’. The idea was put forward by Gareth Bartle, Parks Manager at Henley Town Council 4 years ago.
The footpath was opened by Mayor, Councillor Martin Akehurst at a ceremony on Saturday afternoon. Martin and Gill Dodds, former Chairman of Henley’s Recreation and Amenities Committee and the Mayor, cut the ribbon.
The Mayor said, “I would like to thank Gareth, Gill Dodds, David and Kay Emanuel and Jonathan Beale from SODC who have all made this happen. It is a very unusual for a new footpath to be dedicated, there haven’t been any new ones for a very long time and I am sure everyone will enjoy this great new one.”
The path has been recorded on the definitive map as footpath number 3. It runs from Pack and Prime Lane, generally south and south east, through the woods and around fields, to join the footpath along the bottom which runs parallel to Valley Road.
Kate Ashbrook, General Secretary of the Open Spaces Society was also in attendance and spoke. She said, “Henley Town Council is triple tops when it comes to paths and public enjoyment.
First it dedicated Gillotts Field as a village green in 2010, giving local people rights of informal recreation there and ensuring that the land is protected in perpetuity.
Secondly, earlier this year it resisted Oxfordshire County Council’s request to contribute to the prioritisation of public paths, which in these stringent times could lead to a downgrading of some routes.
And thirdly, it has dedicated this lovely new footpath through the woods and around the fields, commanding splendid views over the town. We are grateful also to David and Kay Emanuel for allowing part of the path to be dedicated on their land.”
The map showing the new footpath can be downloaded here.