Has anyone noticed the wilful and aggressive way in which the rugby club have blocked access between Hatherop Park and the rugby field and also the pathway from Stewart Close to the rugby field? 

Any families or walkers wishing to acess both open spaces - both paths are completely blocked.

Does anyone know why they've done this and if anything can be done?  There are no notices as to why - just huge piles of earth and dead branches that they must have hired a JCB to move.

It shows a complete lack of community spirit and total disregard for local residents wishing to enjoy both open spaces. 


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For what it's worth, I remember walking a much loved neighbour's dog in Hatherop Park over and into the rugby field and back home via South Close in the 1970's - and many people did that regularly at the weekends/Christmas/New Year etc, so a right of access/way may have been established due to regular public use over 20 years.

Contact the Rights of Way officer at Richmond Council - he/she should be able to advise you further.

Hope this helps

Parks and Open Spaces at LBRUT don't know anything about this, they are going to look at the problem and have said it should be cleared by the weekend!

Are you sure its not Fly-Tippers?

If you go on Google and view rugby field and Hatherop park from satellite option you can actually see where people have walked and made natural paths over the years; I have lived in Hampton since 1963 and use to walk through from the park into the Rugby field and through to the path that ran parallel to Oak avenue to pick blackberries with parents and friends, we were never challenged, never asked to leave the rugby field etc. It was a well known and well used path by locals.

I used the entrance from Hatherop park along from the swings and this obstacle wasn't the work of fly-tippers, the tree trunks used were positioned close by the rugby field access points prior to a machine, or some very big rugby boys, blocking the paths, various barricades have been tried in the past couple of years but these are the biggest

Ian Cook said:

Parks and Open Spaces at LBRUT don't know anything about this, they are going to look at the problem and have said it should be cleared by the weekend!

Are you sure its not Fly-Tippers?

Thanks for your comments.

It's not fly tipping. I reported it online to Richmond Council in case it was and I got a phone message to say they knew about it but not very much more of what they are doing about it.  I tried to get back in touch with the contact at the council but he was out of the office so I've sent him an email. 

As Bill says it's tree trunks & large quantities of earth deliberately positioned to block the paths.  It's been going on for a while in much smaller levels but this is the worst.

I've supported fundraising events there in the past so I feel very let down that that's how they feel they can treat the local community.

I believe it is due to the gypsies that were camping nearby and merely using rugby grounds without permission also threatening the ground workers of rugby ground, and people with motorbikes/peds going through the pathways from rugby to Hatherop Park.  

Was this recently? 

Where were they camping? 

I was told this by another dog walker, but it was last year, there could be possible it happened again recently. 

The path is still blocked with trees and recently I saw they are erecting a large fence so that any walkers going into the rugby field via the path at the end of Hatherop park (past the refuse/compost area) will now be prevented from entering the field but will instead be funneled into the fenced off path on the left

I've heard from the council that the rugby club have agreed 'as a one off goodwill gesture' to install a gate at the Stewart Close entrance and therefore remove all the trees/compost there. But it seems there's no change on the path from Hatherop next to the playground.  A gap had re-opened last week but they soon shoved more dead trees to block it so they seem determined to close that off.  I think they're being a bit silly as paths will keep opening up in that areas as clearly people want to be able to cross between the two open spaces.

The council said there had been problems with mopeds/motorbikes but the way to stop that is to put gates and 'pinch points' in - rather than the total blocking of every entrance to regular park users.

Niki - yes I saw that fence too and the gate to the bridleway - although the gate I think is a good addition. The fence hadn't gone right across but I thought the same, that they're trying to block access that end too. 



I've written to my councillor about this.  My wife and I use the park regularly with our children and dog.  I mentioned it to her a couple of days ago and she said that someone from the Rugby club swore at her while she was walking the dog and then preceded to try and kick the dog.  She didn't tell me at the time because she thought I'd fly off the handle.  She obviously doesn't know me very well.  Perhaps if it had been a train spotters club rather than a rugby club... 


Anyway, it seems this is a dog mess / dog interference issue which is being dressed up as a response to criminal damage at the rugby club.  I would encourage people who feel strongly to write to one of the Hampton councillors:


Cllr.JLanghorne@richmond.gov.uk (Janet Langhorne)

Cllr.SNicholson@richmond.gov.uk (Susan Nicholson)

Cllr.GRoberts@richmond.gov.uk (Gareth Roberts)


I'd also advise you not to approach anyone at the Rugby club about it as it appears some tempers are running hot. Probably due to the fact that as soon as they block access at one point another path seems to open up. 


Slightly off topic but related.  The bridleway that crosses the old railway bridge and into Kempton Park which is now blocked was, up until about 4 or 5 years ago, a public right of way. The Person I spoke to said that they thought it had been done because the owners of Kempton Park were hoping to sell the land off to developers and didn't want any 'flies in the ointment' such as a public right of way.  does anyone know anything about that? 


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