Anger at 'damage' to Herne Hill in Ilminster

Anger at 'damage' to Herne Hill in Ilminster

Anger at 'damage' to Herne Hill in Ilminster

Anger at 'damage' to Herne Hill in Ilminster

First published in News Yeovil Express: Photograph of the Author by

A BEAUTY spot in Ilminster ‘looks like a mess’ after being damaged, it is claimed.

Residents voiced their concerns at Ilminster Town Council’s open spaces committee last Tuesday night about a mountain bike track destroying bluebells, rubble dumped close to a bench which overlooks the town and damage to the footpaths on Herne Hill.

Mayor Sir George Davies MP and Walter Trivett gave the hill, to the south-west of the town, to Ilminster in 1931.

Ross Brion, who lives close to the hill, said he has never seen the area in such a bad way.

Mr Brion also claimed Ilminster Town Council gave a contractor permission to scrape the footpaths.

He told councillors: “There was a lovely job done to replace the bluebells but now they have gone and there has been a mountain bike track built.

“The rubble was put there by the council in June last year and it is like a roadway over there – they have scraped the paths so low they are now down to the clay, so when it gets wet next year it is going to be a right mess.

“The paths were a certain size but they have just bulldozed right through – I have never seen the hill in such a mess.

“I always used to walk on that hill and that is a local beauty spot we should be looking after.”

The council says the wood chippings surface on footpaths became too slippy and it is hoped the grass will grow back again.

Open spaces committee chairman Cllr Carol Goodall agreed to accompany Mr Brion to the areas of concern at Herne Hill.

She added: “The main problem over the last couple of years has been the weather.”

Cllr Andrew Shearman added: “When they widened the paths, it is important people know the crystal clear reasons for doing that – it was for wheelchair access and mobility scooters.”

Other residents said it was a shame to see the area being damaged as they remembered childhood years spent playing on the hill.

Councillors looked at a management plan at the meeting, for Herne Hill, see below, to ensure the area’s natural beauty.

Comments (2)

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11:55am Fri 2 May 14

Larah1 says...

I find the idea that the paths were widened for 'access for wheelchairs' etc. laughable. There is no way a wheelchair user could get onto Herne Hill - it is far too muddy and rough. If this was the aim, it has failed miserably - all that we have now is a huge rent in the earth, a great deal of mud, and an eyesore. It seems like a job started but not finished, making things worse than they were before.

Regarding the hardcore dumped near the bench - there was, at one point, a sign that said a viewing platform was going to be built - what has happened to that plan? Another half completed project!

Far more worrying to me is the fact that a massive new development of houses is to be built right at the bottom of Herne Hill - this will utterly ruin the area - it really encroaches on the beauty of the Hill. Wildlife will be affected, and the beautiful gift to the town that is Herne Hill is being pushed back to make room for yet another ugly housing estate.

I think this is a deep insult to the town and to the man who gave us Herne Hill in the first place.
I find the idea that the paths were widened for 'access for wheelchairs' etc. laughable. There is no way a wheelchair user could get onto Herne Hill - it is far too muddy and rough. If this was the aim, it has failed miserably - all that we have now is a huge rent in the earth, a great deal of mud, and an eyesore. It seems like a job started but not finished, making things worse than they were before. Regarding the hardcore dumped near the bench - there was, at one point, a sign that said a viewing platform was going to be built - what has happened to that plan? Another half completed project! Far more worrying to me is the fact that a massive new development of houses is to be built right at the bottom of Herne Hill - this will utterly ruin the area - it really encroaches on the beauty of the Hill. Wildlife will be affected, and the beautiful gift to the town that is Herne Hill is being pushed back to make room for yet another ugly housing estate. I think this is a deep insult to the town and to the man who gave us Herne Hill in the first place. Larah1
  • Score: 6

10:54pm Fri 2 May 14

orchardman says...

Agree with Larah 1, a half (if that much) completed botched project. Mind you though, at least it got started which is more than can be said of the much vaunted MUGA project for the rec of a few years ago which involved a rise in the parish precept raising a considerable sum, which we haven't seen or heard much of since!. If I remember rightly, Cllr Goodall was involved with that as well. There also seems to be an irony that this Cllr., who wants to improve Herne Hill is the same person who abstained on the last County Council vote regarding the Canal Way development!.
Agree with Larah 1, a half (if that much) completed botched project. Mind you though, at least it got started which is more than can be said of the much vaunted MUGA project for the rec of a few years ago which involved a rise in the parish precept raising a considerable sum, which we haven't seen or heard much of since!. If I remember rightly, Cllr Goodall was involved with that as well. There also seems to be an irony that this Cllr., who wants to improve Herne Hill is the same person who abstained on the last County Council vote regarding the Canal Way development!. orchardman
  • Score: 5

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