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Stone Stile Project

Could you help to discover more Stone Stiles in Gloucestershire?

Stone stiles are found in many areas of the country. There are examples throughout Gloucestershire including the area in and around Quenington. For centuries they have provided access to locals walking along pathways as they went about their business whilst preventing sheep and cattle from straying further afield. Despite the historic value of these stone stiles, scores of them have been abandoned and some now lost forever.

In 2020 Peter Wilson, launched ‘The Stile Project’. Working in association with CPRE and the Cotteswold Naturalists Field Club, Peter’s aim is to produce a record of every remaining stone stile in Gloucestershire before they are lost forever …but he needs your help.

When you are out walking, if you spot a stone stile, or if you know of an existing stile, please photograph it, if possible from both sides. Download a Stile Recording Form by going to the CPRE website, https://www.cpreglos.org.uk/creating-a-record-of-gloucestershire-stone-stiles/  Please give as much information as possible before emailing the form to: peter.wilson@woodchestervalleyvillage.co.uk

Any ‘duplicate’ stiles recorded are welcome as you may take a better picture than the one already on file. In addition Peter is looking for background notes; history, geology and the landscape setting of each stone as well as its precise OS location. Don’t worry if you’re not able to give all that information but he would like to know exactly where you came across the stile.

It’s heartening to report that since the project was launched just a year ago, over 500 stiles have been recorded by 175 people in Gloucestershire. Peter believes however there are up to 100 stiles in the county as yet unidentified. The stile you come across may be one of those!

The ultimate aim of the project is to create a comprehensive record of the history of the stiles before some are ‘lost’ forever. These are mainly slab stiles which are difficult to get over and so tend to be bypassed or replaced with wooden step stiles. The information received will then be available to develop an interactive App. for the enjoyment of everyone who loves the countryside. There is no doubt this will encourage more people to explore our wonderful county adding to their enjoyment of country walks. It will also help wheelchair users, people with mobility scooters and families with children in buggies to plan their walks.

So when you are out walking and see a stone stile, please take a picture, download the form and send it to Peter with as much information as you can. Thank you.