A solicitor homeowner has put up a 4ft barrier coated in greasy anti-climb paint to deter Norfolk ramblers from a scenic countryside path. Sine Garvie-Mcinally erected wooden stakes to block part of the Nar Valley Way, one of the county’s flagship footpaths, sparking a local row which has now played out in a public inquiry.
The former Norfolk County Council (NCC) solicitor, who lives in a cottage next to the path, claims that she put up the unsightly palisade because the route passes too close to her home and infringes her right to privacy.
It marks part of a 30-year row with her former employer over 150m of the Nar Valley Way route, which covers 33 miles of Norfolk’s ancient woodland and open fields.
Speaking at a public hearing this week, she said that men have urinated outside her garden and that she has faced harassment from intrepid walkers.
“I’m doing what I can to protect my home – this order would break my statutory right to privacy,” she told the two-day public inquiry, which was chaired by a government inspector.
‘Urination and harrassment’
Mrs Garvie-Mcinally added: “People can see straight into my windows from the path. Men walking on the path have urinated outside my garden. I have suffered harassment and had rude comments and gestures made at me.
“If the decision goes the other way I will have to sell this house as I would not be able to live in quiet enjoyment.”
It follows back-and-forth battles with the council over whether the 150m path has ever been registered as a public right of way – something the Norfolk Ramblers Association claims it has.
However, any walkers passing through the small hamlet of Newton by Castle Acre will now find their way impeded by the solicitor’s structure, which has poles smeared with greasy anti-climb paint and nearby signs warning them of CCTV monitoring.