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.

Great Elm to Hapsford

Different parts of the route have different challenges. At Phase 2 (Great Elm to Hapsford), we have created a 1.3km section of the route, with a stone surface. Following an agreement with National Rail in 2021, we began by clearing the scrub and fencing the path off from the rail line (with help from a grant from Mendip District Council in 2022 for the fencing supplies). Working with landowners in the area, we now have a walkable route, with excellent views, that is being enjoyed by lots of people in the area. However, to make it fully accessible and easier to maintain, we will need to tarmac the path. Starting in May 2024, a fundraising campaign is hoping to raise £100,000 for this work.

Whatcombe Fields

Meanwhile, at Phase 3, which covers the stretch from Spring Gardens into Frome, we have now tarmacked the complete path through Whatcombe Fields, up to the poplar wood near Selwood Manor. This work, in August and September 2023, was greatly helped by a grant from Mendip District Council, and donations of goods, machinery and labour from Aggregate Industries and Mrs Yeoman.

Hedge-planting by Duke of Edinburgh students from Frome College has created a wildlife-friendly border to the fields used for agriculture, with further tree planting programmes supported by Frome Town Council, and lots of volunteer help.

We are delighted that this makes the area accessible for many more people, and takes us almost all the way to Spring Gardens. The final section – up the slope to the railway line – provides some technical challenges, as well as a financial challenge.

Spring Gardens to Hapsford

This will be a tricky and expensive section to complete and we are always on the look out for funding sources that might help. We have a detailed feasibility study, identifying the best route through this section, so that we can be ready to go, if funding becomes available.

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.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This