The SOS Team and the work we do

The Team

We are a group of volunteers that are helping to improve the condition of Open Spaces and Public Rights of Way in Shotley.

Our members are all from the village and are passionate about securing it’s beauty for future generations. Formerly known as the Shotley Stour Footpath Renovation Group, which started in 2009, was Constituted in 2012 and became Shotley Open Spaces on 17 November 2016.

As you can see we are a happy bunch with a lot of enthusiasm. Our Honorary Chairman and Treasurer is Gary Richens, Honorary Secretary is Geraint Pugh and the other committee members are (in no particular order) Marian Pugh, Ian Peters and Tony Lawford-Randall, Jane Leach. Derek Gent,  Ian Saunders, Shane Rolin, Casper De Boer.

Not all of them are in this photograph and there are people in the photograph who help us out when they can.

We have a growing e-mail list of supporters who like to be kept informed of what we are doing (please contact Tony and have your name and e-mail address added to the list).

Most of our committee members and supporters are actively involved in other local groups and organisations, and this helps us a lot in gathering information for some of the things we are involved with. For the recent ‘Walkers are Welcome campaign’ we reached out to local groups through our members for letters of support which were quickly delivered.

We try to display our A boards whenever we are doing improvement works. In time the SOS logo should be a familiar sight around Shotley. We have 10 committee members and loads of supporters in the village –  Meetings are whenever we feel the need, and dates are posted on our Facebook page “Shotley Open Spaces”

–  We welcome new supporters (members) to go on our e-mailing list –  A friendly enthusiastic team helping to make the outdoors a better place –  Managers of the Shotley Walkers are Welcome scheme.

Shotley is our home, and we want to make it’s open spaces accessible, safe and enjoyable for all. Our campaign ‘save our shotley’ is committed to make long term, valuable change for all.


The Work we do

Looking after the Rights of Way Network in the Parish.

Following consultation with the Suffolk County Council Rights of Way team, Shotley Open Spaces is now an acredited installer of way marker posts and sign posts.We are working together with the RoW team to ensure our footpaths are kept in good condition whilst keeping costs down.We regularly carry out maintenance work and use our facebook page “Shotley Open Spaces”to call out volunteers and to keep people informed of the work we do.

We often work on the public footpath at Mole end Corner which is well used by families on their way to school and to the shops. This photograph shows work underway prior to the school term.

Marsh Lane footpath improvements

In 2015 major improvements were made by Suffolk County Council’s Rights of Way Team to this footpath down to Shotley Marina. This was a result of our efforts to work in partnership with our local Parish Council to secure additional funding from the Suffolk Foundation.

As a result, it is now much more accessible to a wider range of people and we have seen a significant increase in its use.

 Marsh Lane before the work

Marsh Lane after the work

During the month of August 2017 another group of volunteers spent time cutting back brambles that had spilled out of the fence from the HMS Ganges site.

Community Orchard gets a makeover



Following an appeal for help, a group of nine volunteers spent a couple of hours cutting and raking in the Orchard in Shotley Heritage Park on 23rd March 2017. All twenty trees in the orchard planted a couple of years ago by the Scouts, Cubs and Beavers have taken well and are beginning to bud at the start of their third year in the ground.

The trees need to be looked after and the group was then shown how to correctly prune them using the correct tools. The orchard comprises five each of Hazelnut, Myrobalan Plum (cherry plum), Damson ‘Merryweather’ and Prunus Avium (wild cherry).

Activity on Marsh Lane

On Thursday, 30 March 2017 a working party from SOS spent a couple of hours working to clear the path on the Marsh Lane footpath down to the Marina.  Please see below for photographs of the work being done.