Dana to Town Footpath – Petition to Shropshire Horticultural Society

Lots of people from the north and east of Shrewsbury go into town through Castlefields and along the Dana footpath and vice versa.  However, this popular route to town ends with 19 steep steps. This makes it impassable for anybody with mobility problems and very difficult if you have a buggy, pram, shopping trolley, etc.  (The only other way round is a long trek down Howard Street, under the railway bridge past the railway station and up the hill.)

For very many years campaigners, including Shropshire Council and Shrewsbury Town Council have been seeking to have the path diverted through the non-historic wall at the top of the steps and leading on to Castle Gates. Alternative routes have been proposed but in recent years the Councils and English Heritage have agreed on what they believe is the only acceptable, affordable and indeed, the most attractive option. This includes a strip of properly constructed and landscaped footpath over the castle forecourt following the wall above Castle Gates to the main Castle entrance. However, Shropshire Horticultural Society have refused to make this small section of their land available.

Castlefields Action Team (CAT) has become very frustrated with the situation and wants to bring the problem to the attention of everybody in Shrewsbury. To this end CAT has organised a petition, and from 3rd October they will be at the site of the proposed path to inform people, and to ask them to sign a petition that will be presented to Shropshire Horticultural Society calling on them to release the land and support the proposals. There is also an on line petition on the Change.org website. Follow the link http://chn.ge/1QGVYoF

Michael Nixon, Chair of CAT says: “ We appeal to Shropshire Horticultural Society to agree to the Councils’ plan and allow the footpath to go ahead. Years have gone by and nothing has happened. By preventing the footpath going ahead Shropshire Horticultural Society is making life very difficult for anybody with mobility problems to get in to town using what would be a very attractive and convenient route.”

Alan Mosley, Shropshire and Shrewsbury Councillor for Castlefields and Ditherington said:  “The current situation is deplorable and improvements to this route are essential especially given the potential exciting developments around the Dana.  The new footpath will complement the wonderful gardens and provide a much more accessible and attractive gateway to and from the town centre.”

Andrew Bannerman who represents the town centre on Shropshire and Shrewsbury Councils said:  “I am delighted that the Town Centre Residents Association and the Civic Society, who have supported a project for many years, also endorse the proposals and petition.  I only hope that the Horticultural Society will come to realise that it is in everyone’s interest for them to allow this obviously beneficial plan to proceed”.

Mayor of Shrewsbury and Councillor for Underdale, Miles Kenny said: “The path across the forecourt is Town Council policy and the implementation should not be delayed any further. It will be of enormous benefit to Shrewsbury residents travelling to and from town.”


The Dana is a well-used, historic, pedestrian thoroughfare leading from the North Shrewsbury residential districts to the town centre. At Castle Gates there are 19 steps that make the path difficult or impossible for many people, such as those with mobility difficulties or using buggies and prams. It has long been proposed, by Shropshire Council, Shrewsbury Town Council and many residents, that an improved and accessible route be made through the castle forecourt grounds, but Shropshire Horticultural Society, who own the forecourt, have refused to agree to this.

The plans are for a high quality, landscaped and level footpath that would give a pleasant approach to the town alongside the wonderful gardens with excellent views of the Grade 1 listed Library and its grounds.


Pete White Pete White

Love Shrewsbury editor and chief developer at The Web Orchard, find out more on petejwhite.com

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