New accessibility improvements to the Forest of Dean's Daffodil Way

Just in time for wild daffodil season, work to improve footpaths on the Forest of Dean's Daffodil Way is due to finish this March 2024 — making the scenic walking route more accessible.

By Chloe Gorman  |  Published
The Daffodil Way in the Forest of Dean is becoming more accessible to visitors with young children and mobility issues, as stiles are replaced with kissing gates.

Work to improve accessibility on the Daffodil Way in the Forest of Dean is due to be completed this March 2024. 

Gloucestershire County Council and Kempley Parish Council are working together to make footpaths in the area more accessible by replacing stiles with kissing gates — which are easier to navigate for those with young children and people with mobility difficulties, while keeping livestock safely contained. 

The latest batch of stiles are due to be replaced in time for Kempley Daffodil Weekend on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 March 2024, when hundreds of visitors will descend on the area to walk the Daffodil Way as the spring flowers burst into bloom. 

Work to replace the stiles has been ongoing since spring 2021 with the support of local landowners and farmers — and 24 stiles have been replaced so far, with the latest batch of kissing gates being installed in February 2024. 

While landowners are responsible for installing and maintaining footpath stiles and gates on their own land, replacing the existing stiles with kissing gates is an expensive job, so Kempley Parish Council and Gloucestershire County Council have jointly funded the installation of the new gates, ultimately reducing the maintenance cost for farmers on heavily-used footpaths like the Daffodil Way, as well as helping them better manage walkers on their land. 

Chair of Kempley Parish Council, Martin Brocklehurst, said: 'We have had amazing support from our local family farmers for this scheme and from our local community. Every spring we welcome visitors to our village to see the wild daffodils and we organise walks with the support of our farmers.

'We want visitors to be able to enjoy our beautiful countryside, but to do so responsibly and remember they will be crossing working farms. That means following the paths, keeping dogs on leads and cleaning up after their pets so we can maintain the current positive working relationship with farmers in our community.'

Local county councillor for Newent, Gill Moseley, added: 'I’m very pleased that these kissing gates have been installed as they make the footpaths much more accessible for visitors. Kempley is one of the principal villages for the Daffodil Weekends so I hope they will help to attract lots of extra people, who will find it much easier to get around our beautiful countryside.'

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