Ufford PUNCH May 2019

Page 26, Ufford PUNCH, May 2019 The Last Page: Ufford Debates Our two guest columnists discuss footpaths, a hot topic in the village at the moment FOR What a beautiful country we live in and a particularly lovely part of Suffolk. Here in Ufford we are blessed with fields that stretch for miles and provide such fantastic views. We have access to by ways and footpaths, where dogs, horses and people can traverse the wildly changing landscape that is on our doorstep. But sadly, our right to roam is always under attack and right here in our own village it is large foreign corporates who have determined that a lost field, a diverted footpath and a closed in river is ok. Well they would as it is not their country! Having chosen to step out from under the European financial and regulatory umbrella we have left ourselves open to be abused as our government searches for new ways of raising funds and ensuring our (foreign owned) utilities and (foreign owned) transport continue to function. We are a small island what do we have to sell? Land it seems: so will we be seeing more trains, not just for the power plant but for other commerce as agricultural land is sold for landfill or for yet more ugly, and empty, commuting properties? I wonder if I will see my own grandchildren taking part in local (Duke of Edinburgh) orienteering courses, or fishing at the bridge or swimming in the ‘hole’? Or will the shareholder profit demanded from investors in the local changes hold more sway than local protest over the future of our amenities? Let us hope that our recent united focus on the threatened footpath closure has taken root in the minds of those who wish to bulldoze through the plans that suit only them and instead bring them back to the table with a revised option. AGAINST There’s been a lot of fuss and bother recently about the possible closure of the footpath across the railway line to Bromeswell. My solution is simple. Just do away with foot- paths altogether. I mean, why should some- body who paid good money for a field have a load of total strangers wandering across the middle of it, exercising their smelly dogs and scaring the cattle? “Oh, but it’s an ancient law” - well there’s also laws against “handling salmon in suspicious circumstances” or wearing a military uniform, but if someone was arrested in a back alley with a salmon while dressed as an admiral there would be uproar in the Guardian. A friend of a friend of a chap I know had the council re-open an old footpath running right through his kitchen; I’m sure the European Court of Human Rights was involved some- where though to be fair he had also been car- rying on with the council chairman’s wife. Anyway, they insisted he allowed access to the kitchen 24 hours a day, and there were people stealing milk from the fridge and cadging rashers of bacon when his wife was cooking breakfast. In the end he turned the place into a cafe and did quite well out of it, but my point is - an Englishman’s home is his castle. And a castle with a footpath running through it is like a suit of armour with a big hole in the middle. Totally useless. It’s not just my opinion. it’s proper science (and I don’t mean the global warming type) courtesy of a certain Mr Darwin. There’s a clear line of evolution from newts swimming in puddles through apes and Neanderthals walking barefoot in the dirt and then right on up to Captains of Industry in Gucci Loafers strolling on smooth concrete without a care in the world. So don’t be an ape. Do your walking on the pavement and stay out of fields that don’t be- long to you. “our right to roam is always under attack” “ an Englishman’s home is his castle ”

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