29 May 2019

Newchurch ‘Norah’s Way’ path opens

A dedicated rights of way path has been officially opened in Newchurch, in memory of a much-loved member of the local community.

Norah’s Way was officially opened by members of Norah Boswell’s family, Newchurch ward member and Cabinet member, Councillor Clare Mosdell, the parish council and Darrel Clarke, the council’s public rights of way manager.

Mrs Boswell was a passionate advocate of the right to walk the countryside safely.

Councillor Mosdell said: “Myself, rights of way and the parish council had been working with Norah Boswell to make walking around Newchurch safer as, since 1958 when Norah moved to farm in this small village, the through roads had become dramatically busier.

“Norah was adamant everyone had the right to walk to the village centre and enjoy the Newchurch countryside safely, without fear of the busy roads.

“Sadly, Norah passed away last year but her family continued her hard work to ensure ‘Norah’s Way’ could be open. Norah is greatly missed by myself and the local community but we will continue to work in her memory to improve access to rights of way and better road safety.”

Following her death, work continued to make a narrow, wooded area running parallel to the Newchurch main road (The Shute) available for public use.

Council rights of way manager, Darrel Clarke, said: “I would like to say thank you to the Boswell family for their kind and generous help with this incredibly useful and popular path.

“It has been a pleasure dealing with the family and congratulations to all those who supported the dedication of the path. I would also like to thank my team for their hard work, both in terms of the formalities and physical works on the ground.”

Newchurch Parish Council Chairman, June Davison, added: “Thanks to all those involved in the partnership working which has enabled this project to improve safe passage for the community and we hope to see this continue with the planned pedestrian footbridge at Newchurch Shute.”

Initially, the path was provided to the public on a temporary and permissive basis, however, the council’s rights of way team were delighted with the family’s recent decision the path should become a permanent public right of way and this has now been secured by the making of a ‘Public Path Creation Order’.

Pictured above is: Norah Boswell’s family with Councillor Clare Mosdell (4th across), council rights of way manager, Darrell Clarke (centre) with the parish council members.

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Official opening of the new path
Official opening of the new path
  • Norah Boswell was a passionate advocate of the right to walk the countryside safely.
Isle of Wight, UK