1989 South Gwent Footpath Volunteers' 50th stile


On Saturday, 11 November 1989, a number of members tabled their apologies for absence from the area AGM on that day and made their first outing to Chepstow Park Wood to become the first volunteer team to take to the field as part of Gwent County Council’s Restoration of Footpaths programme.

Since then, on virtually every Friday, rain or shine, and under the supervision of Countryside Warden Gordon Hill, John Davies, Ernie Bryant, George West, and Pat Lumberg together with Fred Hill of Newport Ramblers and occasionally other members, have been erecting stiles and signposts, building bridges and clearing footpaths. Now 3½ years later and still going strong, they have completed over 300 stiles and their efforts are there to appreciate on our walks with increasing frequency and to add to enjoyment of the countryside by all.

Not only are footpaths being opened up, but the work of this team has developed good relations with farmers and landowners, and none more so than with David and Stella who hosted barbecues for the group last year and this year (1993).

The team has also featured in various media reports, including a South Wales Argus editorial and most recently a BBC Wales TV documentary.

The 50th stile nearing completion on 1 June 1990

Left to right: Councillor Ron Jones (Vice Chairman of the Planning Committee), Ernie Bryant, Gordon Hill, Pat Lumberg, John Davies, Fred Hill, Councillor John Pembrige (Chairman of the Planning Committee)