Villages prepare for snow and ice

Joseph Bulmer

Rural communities recruit snow wardens to help keep roads clear

A TRIO of North Devon villages is well prepared for any snow and ice this winter.

Landkey, Swimbridge, Bishops Tawton have recruited a team of voluntary snow wardens to help keep villagers on the move in the result of bad weather.

They are the latest to sign up to a Devon County Council initiative to give local communities the power to clear snow-bound roads this winter.

Around 30 parishes signed up for the scheme when it was launched last year.

The council will provide up to five tonnes of salt, free of charge, to the registered snow wardens who will distribute the grit in the best interests of their villages.

County Cllr Richard Edgell said the snow warden scheme was in addition to the service that Devon County Council already provided.

He said: “Locally recruited snow wardens know their area the best and can help maintain access to community buildings, shops, and schools.

“When the weather turns icy it is impossible for the county council to keep open every road in the area. We try to keep the main routes open, but it is limited to what we can do at the local level.”

The snow wardens will take responsibility for planning how they use the grit on public roads and footpaths. They have made arrangements with the council to store and manage the grit, which will help to reduce its abuse.

Much of the work will be carried out by traditional means using a spade and volunteer help. Wardens are insured to carry out their duties.

Snow Warden for Landkey, Cllr David Luggar, said: “I feel we should be able to do a bit more to help people if we get the awful weather we had last year again.

“I’ve had a fantastic response from people in Landkey offering their support and time if we get prolonged severe weather and it’s been the same in the other parishes.”