Ivy Farm Bridge update
Herts and Cambs County Council officers have now met on site with the Bassingbourn side land manager to discuss next steps in creating a right of way over the Ivy Farm bridge, which would necessitate the use of some privately owned land to connect the bridge to existing public footpaths.
Key points being worked out:
- A new right of way would lead south parallel to the A505 and join up to the existing footpath 17 toward Litlington. This would have bridleway status, enabling cycling.
- The concrete farm track that provides the most direct route from Ashwell Stret and Bassingbourn to the bridge is unfortunately not available as this is needed for farm business.
- It is suggested that a second walking route be provided, heading NE northeast parallel to A505 and linking to the existing footpath 18. For now, this would be footpath status only due to land ownership issues (relating to solar farm) which would be complicated to sort out.
- Both new paths would require fencing off from the field, as well as hedging.
- The fencing would effectively block off access to the bridge from the concrete farm track.
- Herts CC is looking to cover the cost of fencing and hedging.
- Herts CC would also need to cover the cost of compensation to the landowner for land take.
- HCC is exploring options including biodiversity grants for hedging.
- The new northward path would require a few steps at an incline approaching the bridge. HCC would ask an active Herts volunteer group if they would be willing to do this free of charge to help bring down costs.
- Any financial contribution toward fencing and hedging costs by parish councils would be very welcome.
To note: HCC had the bridge structure assessed to ensure it is in good order. There was some concern that any major costs could have been a showstopper, but no faults were found.
An offer of assistance from the Bassingbourn Environment Group and Zero Carbon Collective for practical help with hedging and fencing – greatly appreciated and conveyed to the Cambs CC team who are very grateful. Thank you also for the proposal voted unanimously at Bassingbourn PC to make a financial contribution. More information to come when we have it; sorry that I can’t promise timings! But things are moving.