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Public rights of way – alerts

Informing the public of any issues which could impact the use of a public right of way in the Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole area.

Avon Valley Path – Footpaths E63/16, E63/17 and E63/18

The Rights of Way team are aware and have been seeking a resolution to the flooding caused by the river Avon onto footpaths E63/16, E63/17, and E63/18.

We’ve been in consultation with landowners, the Environment Agency, the water companies, and other organisations, hoping to find an answer. It has been established that we are unable to find a solution to the breaching of the riverbank onto footpath E63/16.                     

Conservation studies do not support the installation of any new sheet piling as it is deemed to have a damaging effect on the local ecology. The river Avon will continue to erode, surveys have revealed undercutting along the banks which could lead to further breaches of water across the field. Further issues include the expected rising of the river level. Unfortunately, we do not have the financial resources to keep installing and maintaining structures to make footpath E63/16 accessible.The installation of further structures could also come at an ecological cost.

Once a highway falls into the water (barring fords and only temporary flooding) it is automatically extinguished. Therefore, we deem footpath E63/16 to have been extinguished. We appreciate this news will be disappointing to many users of the footpath in question and it is not a decision we take lightly.

Regarding footpaths E63/17 and E63/18, we’ve been informed they have been affected by the flooding of the river Avon and are currently inaccessible. It is up to the public whether they choose to use these two footpaths. We will be carrying out a site visit to assess the situation and whether any work can be carried out to restore access.  

We will be erecting site notices near to the area to alert users of the extinguished and inaccessible rights of way and information on alternative routes. We will update and advise any promotional materials on the Avon Valley Path of these changes.

View the map of an alternative route.