Dear Ministry of Defence,
With regards to Foulness Island, I am of the understanding, from both information available on QinetiQ's website (https://www.qinetiq.com/shoeburyness/pub...) and from Essex County Council's Public Rights of Way map (https://www.essexhighways.org/getting-ar...) that, except during certain circumstances, the public have rights of way on many footpaths across the island.
With this understanding, myself and friends have made a couple of visits to the island, however, on our most recent trip we were approached by a QinetiQ security guard who seemed to be misinformed about public access on the island, as we were told by him that the maps we were referring to were out of date, a load of rubbish, and all public rights of way on the island have been removed, except between The Quay and the George and Dragon Pub, which was in the process of being removed. At this time, we were also standing next to what appeared to be a relatively recently installed marker post, indicating the directions of the publis footpaths, he was not interested when this was pointed out to him.
I can find no record of this anywhere online, and i believe that for public rights of way to be completely removed there should be some public record, much like this: https://www.essexhighways.org/uploads/fi...
Could you please provide a definitive answer as to the access rights for the public on the island please? And, should the public rights of way still be in place, will this be communicated to the QinetiQ guards who seem to be giving incorrect information to those they encounter on the island?
Dear Mr Gear,
Further to your FOI request I have now completed my research. The attached
letter explains about Public Rights of Way and access to Foulness Island.
Kirsty Brain | DE&S Secretariat | Weapons
MOD Abbey Wood #2048 | Maple 0a | Bristol | BS34 8JH
Dear Brain, Kirsty C1,
Thank you for such a clear and definitive response.
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