Path Accessibility Fund: Little Sampford, Essex 

Replacing four stiles and creating a new gap and ditch crossing helped transform this walking route between Great and Little Sampford

Back in 2021, during the pilot stage of the Path Accessibility Fund, Uttlesford Ramblers were awarded a grant of £2000 to spend on path improvement work, transforming their local area. Linking the villages of Great Sampford and Little Sampford in north Essex, the route was in frequent use but barriers, such as stiles and a perilous ditch crossing, had begun to deter many.  

So working in conjunction with Essex Highways, Sampford Parish Council and the Friends of the Flitch Way, Uttlesford Ramblers got to work. Working together with their partners, they replaced four stiles along the route and also made a number of other improvements, from creating a new gap to providing a more secure ditch crossing.  

This partnership approach did not just help with the installation of the gates and the work on the ground: it also served to drastically cut costs. Essex Highways match funded two of the planned four new gates, halving the total grant required from the Path Accessibility Fund.  

A walker with a dog on a lead crossing a small newly instated walkway.

To help mark this transformation, local residents were invited to a celebration walk on the newly stile-free route between the two village churches in September 2023.   

One walker from Little Sampford shared how she had not walked the path for years because the stiles had “got too much” for her. She also said she would have been nervous to have tried the route out on her own and so the group walk presented a perfect opportunity. She now felt confident to start walking the path again.  

Another woman had walked the path for many years with her dogs, but in recent years had struggled to lift them over the stiles and so avoided the route. She came along to check out the improvements and was really pleased to see she could now use it once more. 

People standing behind a new path gate in a field.

Path Accessibility Fund: Abergynolwyn, Gwynedd

In 2023, our Path Accessibility Fund helped open up access in Gwynedd by replacing rotten wooden stiles with self-closing gates.

People standing behind a new path gate in a field.

Path Accessibility Fund: Romsey, Hampshire

In Hampshire, local Ramblers volunteers helped create a new accessible route around Michelmersh with support from the Path Accessibility Fund.