'Dog walkers and cyclists both need to be aware...'

Section of the Byes called Bramble Bank

Section of the Byes called Bramble Bank - Credit: Charles Sinclair

I hope you all had a good Christmas and are looking forward to 2022.

People often ask me how I decide what to write about each week in this column. I must admit that some weeks are a struggle, whereas other weeks seem to have lots of topics to discuss.

I was expecting the last column of 2021 to be a struggle but many topics have thankfully come up to talk about.

Let’s start with the thorny subject of relations between dog walkers and cyclists in The Byes. A friend of mine, while cycling through The Byes, had to break sharply as a dog ran in front of them. Unfortunately they skidded on leaves and subsequently fell off their bike and injured themselves.

This was on a section of path used by both walkers, joggers and cyclists. Somebody had let their dog
off their lead as they entered The Byes without looking to see if any cyclists were nearby.

I suspect dog walkers will have stories about cyclists going too fast and nearly hitting their animals. Worse still, injuring a dog.

In a nutshell, it needs all users of The Byes to look out for other people and enjoy the wonderful amenity responsibly.

The resurfacing work in Mill Street was completed just before Christmas. The contractors have done a great job. Hopefully the surface will last a long time in this busy location. As vehicles come through the ford into town there had been a lot of wear and tear. Puddles were commonplace but hopefully they are a thing of the past.

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News from the Exeter Chiefs rugby club mainly revolved around the outgoing players, Jonny Hill and Sam Skinner, who are leaving for Sale and Edinburgh respectively.

There is a new salary cap coming in next season where the wage bill is capped at £5m and the sale of players is a factor in complying with the new rules. Their departure will give younger players more opportunities no doubt.

Sidmouth’s game at Lydney before Christmas was postponed. The 1st XVs next scheduled league game is at home against Old Patesians on January 8.

On the racing front there is a fixture at Exeter on New Years Day which usually attracts one of the best crowds of the season. Another fixture takes place on the same day at Cheltenham which also attracts a big crowd. It will be interesting to see if the government have reduced attendances by then.

With no official Boxing Day swim this year in Sidmouth, for a second year running, it was left to our
intrepid sea swimmers to entertain those strolling along The Esplanade.

Surfers also could be seen in good numbers. Our minced pies and mulled wine event at the cricket club did not take place again. Hopefully next Christmas all these events will be back on.

The walk I’m suggesting this week is an urban one taking in a number of green spaces. Perhaps we
could call it The Sidmouth Green Circle!

Start on the sea front and continue westwards towards Jacob’s Ladder. Climb the ladder and proceed through Connaught Gardens and cross into Manor Road. Turn left into Glen Road and take the top turning on the right into The Glen. Come back down through The Glen into Manor Road and take the footpath down to the Cricket Ground. Go around the ground and take the path by the sea front car park and turn left into Station Road. Go through the triangle and through the churchyard and then the path that comes out into May Terrace. Continue into Radway and turn right into Salcombe Road. Turn left into The Byes and do a lap for as far as you like. Come back down The Byes, go across into Millford Road and across the footbridge into Mill Street and then turn left and walk down beside the river back to the seafront.

That should hopefully burn off some turkey!