Life is punctuated by occasions and events to be marked, remembered and commemorated. For some of these, it may be more appropriate to do something that has a longer-lasting effect than a card or flowers. Speaking on behalf of Ceredigion County Councils Public Rights of Way team, Eifion Jones says: “We have regular requests to install memorial or commemorative benches along paths in the county, and whilst there are a few locations where this is appropriate and useful, in the most part something as formal as a garden bench can be intrusive and out of place in our wild and remote landscape.” With this in mind, the team have launched a ‘Donate a Gate’ scheme.
The idea came about after a member of the public got in touch to see if they could ‘adopt’ a path as a unique and unusual gift to mark the wedding of some close friends. The couple are keen walkers regularly visiting Ceredigion to use the Rights of Way network, and their imaginative friend thought that contributing to the upkeep of these would be a fitting way to mark their special day. Not being something that had been done in Ceredigion before, it seemed wrong to turn down the chance of being able to carry out work which, without this donation, may not have been possible right now. The team came up with the suggestion of buying a pedestrian gate to replace a ‘past its best’ kissing gate on the Coast Path.
Councillor Rhodri Evans is the Cabinet member with responsibility for Economy and Regeneration. He said: “A simple replacement such as this can allow access to more people in line with Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to providing the least restrictive access wherever possible. The team’s innovative idea of launching the donate scheme is a great way for people to contribute to the Rights of Way network in a unique and special way while the team and its volunteers can continue to repair and protect the coastal path; doing their best to make it fit for use by anyone wanting to enjoy our wonderful countryside views.”
Installed by the Rights of Way Volunteers, the gate sits on the Coast Path looking over Ynys Lochtyn. As such it gives the newlyweds a stunning location to visit as part of their walks, something tangible they’ve contributed to and a place to visit to remind them of their special day.
If you’re looking for a way to mark an occasion, remember a loved one, promote your business or for an unusual gift, then you could consider donating towards a piece of furniture or stretch of path. The scheme is not restricted to gates and will include waymarking posts, bridges and flights of steps at the discretion of the Rights of Way team. These could be on a path which is near to your home, has a special significance to someone or indeed the iconic and famous Ceredigion Coast Path. A plaque can be placed on the item with appropriate wording recognising the donation as part of the installation process.
Please get in touch with Jill Lowry, Community Access Officer on Jill.Lowry@ceredigion.gov.uk or 01545 574140 for further details or if you have any questions.