Monmouthshire County Council has recently issued an emergency closure of the Severnside Range footpath. This action has been taken on health and safety grounds following an increasing number of walkers not keeping to the designated path and walking on top of the sea wall, straying into the neighbouring firing range, putting themselves in danger.

“The Severnside Range Footpath poses many complex challenges,” said Councillor Richard John, Cabinet Member for Monlife. “The footpath, which has become increasingly popular, has also recently been the site of fly-tipping, arson, vandalism and gates being left open, which has allowed cattle to wander off, so there are many issues to address.

“We are deeply concerned that people are at risk as this land contains a live firing range and the Definitive Footpath is in a dangerous condition. This is a very real health and safety issue so we have had to impose an emergency six-month closure on a section of the footpath running through the range until measures can be put into place to ensure all walkers keep to the correct, safe route, or an alternative can be agreed.”

“We will be liaising with all parties involved, including Natural Resources Wales and the landowners, to look into how the issues around this footpath can be resolved. A consultation will follow this before any measures are permanently put into place,” added Councillor John.

Monmouthshire County Council’s Countryside Access Service has looked into the exact route of the footpath. A close examination of the official footpath (reference 354/6/3) on the Definitive Map of Public Rights of Way in Monmouthshire and other records, showed that the path does not run in a continuous line across the sea wall but runs off and on it and beside it, not where people currently walk.  It is not part of the Wales Coast Path. This is routed away from the sea wall in this area and is well sign posted and still available to walkers.  Any interested parties are asked to register their interest with the Countryside Access Service team via email: countryside@monmouthshire.gov.uk