Posted by: Scott | Sunday, December 16, 2007

Scotland’s East Gate Issue

It’s incredible where simple searches take you. I’m into family history again. I found a Bothwell Baptist Church in Bothwell, Ontario, Canada. I had to laugh, because there is a church that bore that nickname in Pueblo, CO. Couple that with this semi-satirical thought I had in college about helping plant a church in Bothwell, Scotland sometime in the future.

Then I find that a Bothwell was quite the cattle king in Wyoming in the late 1800’s. OK, so my parents and I were not blazing new territory for the family name in our move from Denver in 1992. Turns out, according to the White Pages, there are 25 or more Bothwells in the state, mostly the central and southern parts. Only three in the northwest though. I’m sure Mom would agree with me that there should at least be a fourth, we just don’t know who she is yet.

Just think, all that’s been for free. It has nothing to do with the East Gate, other than provide background information on why I’m posting this. I know, the title sounds cheesy. But here’s the tie-in. Apparently, a path is being unjustly blocked. A simple “Right of Way” path–crossing private property–that has multiple uses: cycling, horseback riding, and walking. The path has been gated in two locations, because someone wants a garden in it’s place. An uproar has begun in Bothwell. No avalanche, safety, or financial issues. It was a landowner that erected the fences. The criteria for a right of way seem to have been met:

  • It must join two public places, usually but not necessarily roads.
  • It must follow a more or less defined route but it does not have to be visible on the ground as a path or track in open country.
  • It must have been used openly and peaceably by the public, as of right, without the permission, express or implied of the landowner.
  • It must have been used without substantial or effective interruption for 20 years or more.
  • In a positive development, the South Lanarkshire Council has agreed with the citizens that the fencing was built without permission, but now the citizens of Bothwell have a limited window for public comment:

    South Lanarkshire Council confirmed that the gates and fence across the claimed Right of Way were erected without permission. Planning permission for a CHANGE OF USE FROM FOOTPATH TO GARDEN GROUND has now been requested. We have verbal confirmation that objections will be valid until 12th June although the official time ran out on 10th May. This is an affront to the people of Bothwell and permission should not be granted.

    It helps to see all that before you see the info in the pop-up that you see when the page loads:

    Please note that planning permission changing this well-used Right of Way into a garden was granted by South Lanarkshire Council despite overwhelming evidence of use by the people of Bothwell since at least 1812.

    Sounds like the decision to limit winter-use access and not exactly follow proper procedure in drafting a winter-use plan for America’s first National Park.

    People of Bothwell, know that a Bothwell here in Cody, Wyoming, USA knows how you feel and stands with you! Send in you comments to your leaders and don’t give up the fight!



    1. […] the Groundswell have representation in Scotland? If not, they can sure use our support! [?] Share This Sphere: Related […]

    2. Hi there
      I attend Bothwell Baptist in Bothwell Ontario! A great place with great people! Nice to see we show up on someone’s google.

    3. Mrs. Filyer, Thanks for stopping in!

      I forgot to note in this post that I found Bothwell Baptist Church through Facebook, which I noted here).

      I just did another search and came across a Bothwell, Utah too!

      If I ever get married, Bothwell, Ontario is definitely on the list of potential honeymoon locales.

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