Machetes needed on Uckfield ‘jungle’ footpath

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FAMILIES wanting to use a popular Uckfield footpath have had to battle their way through brambles, nettles and weeds.

The Tower Ride footpath runs from the upper end of Uckfield High Street eastwards to Browns Lane, Manor Park and eventually to Views Wood and Buxted Park. As the wet weather continued to give rough-edged weeds a growth-spurt, walkers have been sporting scratches and stings as they brushed past shoulder-height foliage.

Jon Simpson from Tower View said: “Every year without fail I have to contact East Sussex County Council to inform them of the overgrown state of the footpath. Nettles are just about the right height for stinging children in buggies. They have already stung my grand-daughter. Also the path has narrowed down to about 400mm in places with overhanging trees to duck under and wet leaves on the surface. It’s unpleasant and even downright dangerous if you don’t watch carefully where you are going.”

He said East Sussex District Council and Wealden District Council appear to end up not knowing who is responsible for what and even, at times, do not know where this footpath is.

He went on: “In one of their yearly magazines Uckfield Town Council said Tower Ride would be a good place to start a walk. They ought to try it now. This must be one of the oldest footpaths in Uckfield originally leading to the church in Buxted Park. Now it is totally uncared for.”

A County Council spokesman said: “Unfortunately the wet weather we’ve had recently has caused rapid growth of weeds and vegetation on many of our verges and footpaths.

“As always we have had to use our resources where they’re needed most and so we’ve been concentrating on cutting back vegetation where it could be reducing visibility for drivers at our main road junctions.

“That said I’m pleased to say one of our maintenance teams will visit Tower Ride this week to cut back any overhanging vegetation which is obstructing the footpath.”

If any readers have experienced difficulties with this footpath, or can report to us that it has been cleared, please get in touch via: susan.king@sussexnewspapers.co.uk