HUNDREDS of local people are calling for a blocked footpath near Ross-on-Wye to be reinstated.

Walkers have found several obstacles along the public footpath which crosses the grounds of Cubberley House, which was the former home of singer-songwriter Roger Whittaker.

In May, they found two stiles had been cut off with plywood sheets blocking the path. Metal gates were wired shut and a bridge over a steeply banked stream had been completely removed.

By June, the wooden barricade at the south west end of the path had long screws protruding from the plywood towards walkers, it is claimed.

The wood panels were flattened by walkers at one end and pushed away to allow access at the other by a member of the public.

Within a few days, the barriers were replaced and reinforced with chains and metal fencing.

But a few days later, the barriers were once again pushed over, and now there are notices at either end indicating a diverting walkers elsewhere.

Locals have organised and set up a Facebook group with more than 500 members calling for the footpath to be reinstated.

They are staging a public demonstration for Sunday, July 12 and they expect more than 70 people will attend.

Dene Godfrey, one of the wakers, said the footpath was also cut off briefly last year.

“There are two sets of railings either side of the drive through the estate and the footpath crosses the estate.

“There’s a gate either side in the railings and last year plastic ties were put around each of the gates.

“Then this May huge plywood sheets went up as barriers at either end and, initially, barbed wire around the gates, which were then welded shut.

“The footbridge, which is Herefordshire Council property, has been removed. You can’t get across.”

Herefordshire Council said it is aware of the obstructions and is addressing the issue in line with its enforcement policy.