Committee meeting synopsis

Meeting date: 25 May, 2018

Our last committee meeting was able to finalise our policy on GDPR (now part of the Data Protection Act 2018).

On a more productive side, we have continued to extend the placing of our logos and walks packs in businesses around the town - at the last count, we had logos in 26 places and walks packs in 23.

We continue to work with other groups and businesses in the town whenever we can, and are pleased to be actively involved in aboutDereham - do have a look at, (and spread the word if you can!). Another group we are always pleased to work with is The Conservation Volunteers, which has given us two days of clearance work recently - on Restricted Byway 30 (between Northall Green and Swanton Road) and Footpath 14 (where it runs along the school boundary at the north of Scarning Water Meadows). We have ourselves also supplemented this work, as will now become a regular feature until the end of summer.

We made the final preparations for the Bank Holiday walk (Fens and Meadows), and are pleased to thank Jo Pearson for her help in clearing sections of the route we were planning to use. (It all worked well, and our party had a great walk in beautiful weather.) We are at the same time planning our next walk, a slightly shorter walk exploring Etling Green (pdf) and preceding our Annual Public Meeting. The walk starts at 13:30 on Saturday 16 June and will end a couple of hours later at Church House with refreshments and our meeting. We hope to see lots of people there to find out - and influence - what we’re doing. The third walk being actively planned at this time, is a town walk on Sunday 29 July, again starting at 13:30 and ending with refreshments at the Mid-Norfolk Railway’s Railway Station café.

Another lengthy process is also nearing its end - the claiming of a number of routes east of Dereham as Restricted Byways. The original claim was put in by Dereham Town Council (thanks to a lot of work from the Town Clerk, Tony Needham), supported by The Ramblers and ourselves. The claims were reviewed by Norfolk County Council, which decided there was good evidence to make orders for their recognition, which were duly published. After allowing the requisite time for objections, the County had received only a few, all on the basis that the width of the Byways they had specified were not as great as they should be. These objections were considered in turn by the Planning Inspectorate, and the Inspector agreed that the widths which had been challenged were indeed inadequate, though not always to the degree argued by the objectors (Dereham Town Council and The Ramblers). There will soon start a final short period of consultation about these widths, and then the Byways will be officially recognised as public rights of way, and will be added to the Definitive Map and included in the network maintained and managed by the County Council.

Looking further afield, we were pleased to join Suffolk WaW colleagues when Eye, the third Suffolk location (the others are Shotley and Clare) to gain accreditation, had its formal launch as part of the Suffolk Walking Festival. Here in Norfolk, it’s Cromer and ourselves which are active, with Aylsham seeking to renew its past status, and interest from another couple of towns. We are offering what help we can to all of these.