Access

Much of the work carried out by the Trust in the first years of our ownership of the land has been to improve access, and to encourage use of the land.

One of our first jobs was to block the hazardous climb up the bank that many were using to enter the land from Bowling Green Road at the RSPB hide end of the land, and to clear away the hedge  exposing an existing gate a few metres away, creating a much safer entrance beside it.

Sadly, the Trust decided it had to take the decision to lock the entrance to the Land from the Goat Walk. The foot traffic through the copse was damaging the cyclamen, which are such a special feature of the Land in the autumn, seen from the Goat Walk. The copse can still be accessed from the other entrances to the Land. Another factor in our decision was the low lintle on the gate, which has proved to be a hazard. Any modifications are difficult as the wall is grade II listed. 

 

County Ground Maintenance installed fencing and gates between the two fields, allowing the upper field to be available for use by dogs and their owners, while keeping the lower field and copse dog free.

CGM also laid a hard path in the lower field, which runs from Bowling Green Road, across the back of the copse by the Goat Walk and into the lower field. The path is designed to give access to the Land to those in wheelchairs and those with young children in buggies.

Benches, made from local oak, have been installed in both fields to encourage users of the Land to sit and enjoy it.
More recently we have made improvements to the access from Bowling Green Road to the Upper Field by the scrape, and erected a noticeboard at the entrance near the Goat Walk, where we can display current newsletters and other information.

 

The Scrapes - Seasonal Ponds

The Goat Walk Land is largely flat and close to river level. The area near the main gate onto Bowling Green Road was prone to flooding in the winter.

To improve drainage and habitat diversity, the Trust had two scrapes (or seasonal ponds) dug. These both help to improve drainage in the lower parts of the fields and provide a habitat for plants requiring damp conditions and for animals, such as frogs, which require water for part of the year.

Marking out the positions of the scrapes with rope prior to the contractor arriving to dig them.

After the scrapes had been dug, as well as drains, volunteers finished profiling the edges of the new scrapes by hand.

The newly finished scrapes.

Repointing the wall

The Goat Walk wall is listed grade II by Historic England. When the Trust took over the Goat Walk Land they took on responsiblity for the wall, which was in a poor condition. The severe gales in 2014, shortly before the purchase in 2015, did considerable damage to the walkway of the Goat Walk, though fortunately not to the wall. 

 

The Trust decided to repair the wall as a matter of urgency. Several of our volunteers worked with two professionals, with experience of lime mortar repointing, over a period of two weeks. Much of the work was completed in that time and the remainder was completed by Trust volunteers over the rest of the season, and in 2017, using their newly acquired skills

 

 

GWLT Exhibition and Consultation 2016

The Goat Walk Land was bought by the community of Topsham in February 2015 and is owned and managed by the Goat Walk Land Trust (registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation in 2015).

In April 2016 the Trustees and Management Committee of the Trust held an Exhibition and Consultation in Matthews Hall, Topsham to obtain as wide a range of views as possible of how the Land should be managed.

The posters displayed at the exhibition can be viewed by clicking here:

A synopsis of the results of the consultation is available here: 

The results in chart format can be viewed here:

 

Goat Walk Land Trust: Questionnaire

Please complete the questionnaire on the issues addressed in the Goat Walk Land Trust exhibition. The deadline for responses is 15 May 2016.

The results of the questionnaire will help inform decisions on how to manage the land.  If you are interested in the future of the land, your views are important.

The Goat Walk Land Trust

The Goat Walk Land is six acres of land bordering The Goat Walk and Bowling Green Lane on the downstream side of Topsham. The Goat Walk Land Trust was formed to protect the land and retain it for the benefit of the community after a successful appeal and bid for the land in February 2015.

The Trust is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, registered in 2015, whose object is: 

“the maintenance of the rural environment and heritage of the historic town of Topsham through the preservation and enhancement, without any permanent buildings, of the Goat Walk land for the quiet enjoyment and pleasure of the residents of Topsham and visiting members of the public at large”

After the establishment of the Trust the Trustees and Management Committee spent some time considering possible approaches to the management of the land. The resulting ideas and proposals were presented to the local community at an exhibition and consultation held at Matthews Hall, Topsham, on 16th April 2016. The posters displayed at the exhibition and the results of the consultation are available on this website by clicking here:

Our annual expenses on maintenance and insurance are covered by our membership scheme. Members pay a small annual fee, £10, which is intended to cover our ongoing expenditure. Members also receive newsletters by email and have the right to vote at our AGMs. If you would like to support the Goat Walk Land Trust by joining us, please see the Membership page of this website for an application form.

Most of the work of managing the Land is carried out by our volunteers. If you would like to volunteer to help in any way, or have any other questions please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.