Jayne reports her 500th stile for Gloucestershire’s Stone Stile Project
Jayne Tovey from Ampney Crucis was inspired to find stone stiles in the Gloucestershire countryside after reading an article in her parish magazine on The Gloucestershire Stone Stile Project. In only six months she has just recorded her 500th stile!
The Gloucestershire Stone Stile Project was started by Peter Wilson who discovered there was no comprehensive record of stone stiles in our ancient county of Gloucestershire. With support from CPRE, The Countryside Charity and the Cotteswold Naturalists’ Field Club, The Stone Stile Project was launched in 2020. Since that time local people from around the County, including members of CPRE have reported over 800 stiles however Jayne Tovey is the Project’s star contributor!
At this time of year many stiles, particularly if they have been bypassed are almost hidden in the undergrowth but Jayne, armed with her secateurs, can find them. Her searches have taken her to many areas where she often meets locals who are only too happy to talk about how stone walls on agricultural land and footpaths have changed the landscape in their parish. She hears tales of stone stiles that have been ripped out or bypassed and replaced with galvanised steel ‘kissing gates’. Thanks to Jayne, these stone stiles which are historic landmarks in our countryside are being recorded before some are lost forever.
Congratulations to her and to all the other contributors to the Project, it has been a fantastic effort.
With the majority of stone stiles now located, the Project has moved onto its second stage. Help is needed to record the information relating to the stiles onto a spreadsheet. It’s a mammoth task so it’s being split, parish by parish. For details on how you can help please click here. Once all the information is gathered an interactive OS map showing the location and description of each known stile and its condition will be available to download.