Stiles replaced with gates in Catterick Village to improve footpath access

David Heaton, a walk leader with Richmondshire Walking for Health Group.

New gates have been installed on a footpath in Catterick Village to improve access.

The gates were installed by the parish council following a request from Richmondshire Walking for Health Group.

The popular path runs across a farmer’s field at the bottom of Oran Lane and is the start of a walk along the Swale.

Users say the stiles were quite awkward to use although still allowed at the site, but the parish council agreed that gates would improve the path.

Lesley Heaton, a Catterick Village resident and trustee for the walking for health group, said: “Over the past few years residents of Catterick Village have seen the loss of two popular walking opportunities, both permissive paths.

“Of the remaining two public footpaths permissive pathways in the village, one had two stiles that were extremely difficult to negotiate because of their design.

“Richmondshire Walking for Health Group had been forced to re-assess the suitability of one of their walks because of this.

“Representations to the parish council have been successful in securing the replacement of the stiles with gates.”

Parish clerk Diane Kirkham said: “We agreed to ask the farmer if he would be willing to let the council replace the gates with self closing public footpath gates, which he was.

“The more critical gate straight into the field was replaced by a purpose made footpath gate and the one at the other end of the track was made from wood.”

The gates were part funded by money from County Councillor Carl Les’s locality budget fund, with the parish council funding the remainder.