Kent Ramblers

The Royal Military Canal

This article from the March 1994 issue of Kent Area News reported the Ramblers' continuing contribution to the completion of the path along the Royal Military Canal.

The Royal Military Canal

In our last newsletter, we told you how the project to open up a continuous path along the north bank of the canal was gathering momentum. Steering and Working Groups were formed, and these have been meeting regularly over the past six months, looking at practical matters such as stile and waymark design and infrastructure requirements. KCC have now given their formal approval for Rights of Way Officers to proceed with the path creation procedure that is necessary to open up the 7 mile section that is closed to the public between Warehorne and Bilsington.

As is usually the case in projects of this kind, acquiring the funds is the most difficult part. And as is also usually the cose, initial cost estimates have increased (it is a fact of all human life that estimates never decrease!) Kent Area was very concerned that the Ramblers' Association should demonstrate to the authorities that we were also prepared to express our commitment to the project by making a financial contribution. We secured a grant of 1000 from National Office whilst Kent Area put in a further 500. Area Chairman Fred Goad then decided to ask individual members throughout Kent to make donations which he did in the last newsletter. We are pleased to tell you that the response to that appeal has been absolutely splendid with just over 2600 being contributed. In total, we expect to make available some 4000 to the project. The Executive Committee is delighted as is the County Council. Roger Lambert, the Access Recreation Officer within Planning Department who chairs the two Groups, wrote to the Area Secretary as follows:

"I would like to take this opportunity of expressing our appreciation to all those who have collectively contributed so generously to the Royal Military Canal Project.

In partnership with other statutory, conservation and amenity bodies, not least the Ramblers' Association, we are committed to the successful implementation of the long distance path along the canal bank.

As you may expect, a project of this nature is quite involved, particularly with the need to create a public right of way over the section between Wareborne and Bilsington.

It is our intention to phase the programme of work over a period of two to three years, and to promote sections of the route as they are completed. Given the necessary funding, we hope to complete the whole project by J996.

No doubt Mike Temple will give you an update on progress at regular intervals.

Meanwhile, thank you again for your very encouraging support."

We hope to have news of further progress in September.

If you are not already a member of the Ramblers, please join us to support our continuing work to protect and improve walking opportunities in Kent.

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