A new footpath was opened in Ashcombe by the estate owner this week.
Teignmouth and Dawlish Ramblers Group have recovered a long ‘lost’ path at Ashcombe which was formally reopened by the land owner, Ralph Rayner, and dedicated to the memory of a past Chairman of the Group, the late Roger McCallister.
‘Roger’s Path’, as it is now known, was originally an extension of Oakpark Lane, Ashcombe and gave access to Forestry Commission land at Haldon. The path had been overgrown and disused for many years. Roger, as then Footpath Secretary of the Group, had identified it for potential clearance some years ago but it had not been possible for this to be actioned. In 2017 the Lost Ways Team at the Group, under the leadership of John Cousens, looked at it again and, after discussing their aims with Ralph Rayner of Ashcombe Estate, he agreed that, if the Group would be prepared to clear the path, he would give agree to permissive access.
The work of clearance took place in February 2018 followed by the erection of barriers and a finger post. This involved work by members of the Group as well as a team of specialist volunteers from National Trust Killerton.
The path was formally opened by Mr Rayner on 10th May in the company of the Chair of Devon Area Ramblers, Andrew Chadwick, and 33 members and guests. Afterwards they walked up the new path to reach the obelisk and the extensive views over the Exe estuary before returning via a circular route to Ashcombe Village Club where they enjoyed a fulsome ‘bring and share’ lunch.
The benefits of walking off road in pastoral settings provides enormous benefits to both mental and physical health, this being endorsed by Mr Rayner who had personally walked from Ashcombe to Widecombe only a few days previously in support of a friend walking from London to Lands End.