Somerset County Council is continuing to ensure that any path safety issues are investigated and resolved as soon as possible during the coronavirus emergency.
Public rights of way within Somerset have remained open during the lockdown, with path users advised to follow the Countryside Code and Public Health England guidance regarding social distancing.
The 2020 vegetation cutting programme is now underway and focuses on the paths that are most popular and are prone to becoming overgrown. Keeping vegetation under control is all part of keeping the path network safe to use and is achieved through a proactive programme using various contractors and volunteers. This programme is largely proceeding as normal.
Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “Despite the coronavirus emergency, we believe it remains crucially important for the public to stay active and we’re working hard to ensure our public rights of way will remain open and safe to use. Please enjoy our paths for your daily exercise but be sure to stay safe by adhering to social distancing rules if you are out and about.”
Paths will generally receive between 1 and 3 cuts in a season. For those paths that have 2 or 3 cuts per season, the cutting programme will begin around the second half of May subject to the weather and local conditions.
Details of the paths that are cut by contractors, and how often, can be found online at by selecting the ‘Veg Clearance’ layer from the ‘More Maps’ icon and zooming into and clicking on the path network.
If you encounter any issues whilst out walking, cycling or riding on the path network then these can be reported or checked on Explore Somerset. Further information about using the website can be found at https://youtu.be/ctuedEScXzs.
Somerset County Council has suspended volunteer recruitment for the Rights of Way team, to focus on supporting those affected by coronavirus. If you wish to find out more and register your interest for future volunteering opportunities, more information can be found at www.volunteering.somerset.gov.uk.