About Frome’s Missing Links

Frome's Missing Links logo

Frome’s Missing Links started in 2010 to campaign for better and safer walking and cycling routes in Frome and better connections to neighbouring towns and villages. The goal was to develop traffic-free routes with gentle gradients suitable for all ages and abilities.

In particular, the campaign wanted to see the Colliers Way route – a traffic free trail following an old rail route in the area – connected to the centre of Frome.  This multi-user path, Sustrans’ route 24, currently ends at Great Elm, leaving people to continue the final 2.5 miles into Frome on the roads, many of them with steep gradients unsuitable for children.

To the south of Frome, Sustrans’ Route 24 continues towards Longleat, taking a route that involves some busy roads and another steep hill.

Frome’s Missing Links would like to see more family-friendly routes in both directions, and is doing this by campaigning, commenting on planning applications, and raising funds to build these routes.

Progress so far

Frome’s Missing Links started by extending the path from the centre of Frome out towards Great Elm. Volunteers spent many days clearing scrub, erecting fences and preparing the ground. Grants from Mendip District Council, Frome Town Council and Aster Housing helped to back up financial support from Sustrans and the section from Welshmill to Low Water, Phase 1, was completed in January 2015. We celebrated the opening with a procession of bicycles and scooters, illuminated by hundreds of lights and reflectors.

What’s next?

Different parts of the route have different challenges. At Phase 2 (Great Elm to Hapsford), we have recently signed an agreement with Network Rail that will allow us to move forward with a section that runs alongside a working rail line. Negotiations are ongoing with landowners in the area. A grant from Mendip District Council (in 2022) has helped to purchase fencing supplies and volunteers have begun clearing scrub.

Meanwhile, at Phase 3., which covers the final stretch into Frome, we have agreed the course of the path to Selwood Manor, planted hedging and put in fencing and a cattle grid so that local land owners are still able to manage their livestock. Tarmac was laid, extending the path through Whatcombe Fields, in autumn 2021. Trees and hedging were planted in December 2021, along the new stretch of path by the river.

We have also been developing feasibility studies to look at the final ‘link’ in this route, which would have to cross the A362, among other challenges.

The route south

There are plans to extend the route south from Frome, towards East Woodlands and Longleat, with a more family-friendly path. The start of this route will be in Edmund Park, where a path extends beyond the estate. To complete a route, this path will through a ‘cow hole’ tunnel under the rail line and the road, before linking up with Feltham Lane. Ultimately, this should avoid the need to cross the bypass.

How we are organised

In June 2016, Frome’s Missing Links was set up as an independent charitable organisation, having been part of Sustainable Frome and working with Sustrans. As a result, we can now take donations, apply for funding and claim gift aid.

We have found people and local business are more likely to donate to local good causes, and our experience in taking on far more fundraising and seeking donations of materials and services such as tool hire has been positive so far.

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