ACCESS to the path heading past Hampton Mill remains open despite the presence of a padlock on a gate.

Frances Payne has in the past blocked access to the public right of way past the mill where she lives with gates and barbed wire due to “constant” problems such as people taking drugs, assaults, thefts and vandalism.

But her gating of the path has annoyed members of the pulibc looking to use the lane.

On Monday, July 26 the Evesham Journal came across two walkers from Winchcombe who had been turned away due to the presence of a padlock on the large metal gate on Cornmill Road, which leads out to Cheltenham Road.

But Mrs Payne explained the gate can still be opened one way and the padlock had been put in place to keep the gate swinging the other way and potentially staying open, something which would risk releasing livestock she has at the mill.

Evesham Journal:

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“The padlock is there to stop the drawbar that allows the gate to open the other way,” said Mrs Payne.

“The danger with that is the gate gets left open which can let out the sheep. It is the same on all the gates all the way through to Hinton, it is a normal country gate.

“I had a conversation with someone about it, they asked about putting up a sign but unfortunately they keep getting ripped down.

“The bar can be slid open and that would leave the gate to swing open all the time. It means the gate can only open uphill and when it swings back, it can only swing closed. It is a safety measure.

“I know there was uproar about it being locked before but I had no choice at the time. Maybe that doesn’t help (when people see it now) but it has been open for some time.”

Mrs Payne’s fencing has received backlash on social media for months, with some wooden posts and wire fencing topped with barbed wire that surrounded land at the mill taken down in reaction.

Evesham Journal:

Evesham Journal:

Mrs Payne confirmed she would be exploring her options over its removal and added: “It has got quieter and I am getting a lot of support now.

“When I go into town people tell me to stick with it but there is still a core faction of people who are determined to cause trouble.

"It is a vendetta, it is not even about the footpath anymore.”