Updates


Could you lend a hand to help restore Somerset’s iconic fingerposts?

More volunteers and community groups are being urged to get involved with a ground-breaking project to restore historic signposts in Somerset.

In response to stretched finances, the Somerset Fingerpost Restoration Project was set up by Somerset County Council and the Southwest Heritage Trust in 2016 to help preserve and protect the signs by harnessing the goodwill of volunteers and exploring alternative funding options.

Exmoor National Park Authority, with support from the Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund, has since run a hugely successful project in West Somerset with more than 100 volunteers recruited and more than 60 signs restored to date.

Communities in other parts of Somerset have also been able to secure sponsorship from local businesses or have successfully applied for grant funding to help pay for repairs. One example is Williton Parish Council, which has secured sponsorship funding from Magna Housing to restore some of its fingerposts.

More volunteers and community groups are now being sought to get involved to carry on work that the Council no longer has the money to fund.

Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “We are very lucky in Somerset to have one of the most impressive collections of fingerposts in the country.

“With the strains on our finances we just don’t have the budget to restore these beautiful signs ourselves, but this is a fantastic example of communities coming together – with help from us – to take the responsibility on.

“It proves what we already knew, that there are amazing people out there willing to give something back. We’ve also found that community groups have access to sponsorship and grants which are not open to us. I’d urge anyone with an interest in preserving these iconic landmarks to get involved.”

Back in the 1960s, councils were advised to remove all fingerposts and replace them with the modern, standardised road signs which can now be found all over the country. In Somerset, this advice was ignored, and as a result the county still has a wonderful back catalogue of fingerposts.

Somerset County Council has cared for these unofficial highways signs for more than 60 years, but having had to find around £130m of savings and efficiencies over the last eight years, it is becoming increasingly difficult to justify spending precious resources on non-mandatory services.

Somerset County Council and the Southwest Heritage Trust have produced a handbook that provides all the information required to enable community groups to decide if they would like to take part in this valuable project. It also contains a fascinating potted history of fingerposts in Somerset. You can view the handbook at http://www.somerset.gov.uk/policies-and-plans/schemes-and-initiatives/somerset-fingerpost-restoration-project/.

Exmoor National Park’s Charlotte Thomas, who is leading the Exmoor project, said: “The interest we’ve had from local communities has been just fantastic. We have teams of volunteers all over the project area who are helping out. There is even a group in Minehead who are a roving team and have helped refurbish signposts in neighbouring parishes.

“Others have kindly let me know when they have found broken fingers and we have been able to use local contractors to fix them. It just goes to show the important role these signposts play in the personal and regional history of Exmoor.

Mike Neville and Stuart Lawrence, two volunteers from Minehead, have been busy working with others to restore numerous signposts along the A39. Mike said: “I got involved with the project because I wanted to make a difference in my local community and I’d noticed the signs starting to look scruffy.

“It’s really satisfying seeing them looking all pristine by the side of the road and good to know you’ve done your bit in restoring a local heirloom. I’ve even made a few friends along the way!”

Tony Murray, housing director for Magna Housing which is sponsoring Williton Parish Council’s fingerpost project, said: “We support the communities we are based in so we were really pleased to be able to help with this project. Fingerposts have been a part of our landscape for decades and we want to see their use continued. We really hope that other people are encouraged to join in and do what they can.”

Please contact your local parish council if you would like to get involved, or email fingerposts@somerset.gov.uk for further information. 


Date Posted: 16/07/2018 10:44:15

Community Plan 2016-2026
Community Plan 2016-2026
Date Posted: 01/01/2018 11:58:37

Ilminster Forum Report - October 2017
Ilminster Forum Report - October 2017
Date Posted: 10/10/2017 11:55:16

Message to Party on the Park Stallholders

Setup period: The site will be open to stall holders from 9:30am on Sunday 27th August 2017; all stalls must be erected by 11:30am

Breakdown period: Stalls must be taken down by 10:00pm on Sunday 27th August 2017.

Vehicles will be allowed onto the recreation ground during the setup and breakdown periods but must not be operated during the event without first contacting a marshal or a member of the event team, who will guide you on and off the site safely.

Please make sure you have read the Terms and Conditions and return your stall holders declaration to the event team prior to the event.


Date Posted: 21/08/2017 11:22:42

Cards only’ as all recycling sites go cash-free

Somerset’s 16 recycling sites will switch to operate cash-free and cheque-free from Friday 1 September with almost all payments taken only on credit, debit and charge cards.

The only exceptions will be the £2 cash entry fees for Crewkerne and Dulverton community recycling sites, and paying at the Reuse Shop within Taunton (Priorswood) Recycling Centre.

The move to all payments on plastic was agreed by councillors from all six Somerset authorities following many months of successful trials at both Chard and Taunton recycling sites since 2016.

Enhancing efficiency, security and the safety of staff, payments will be accepted on Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards, Visa Electron and Diner’s Club, including contactless cards.

Among the plastic-only payments taken at all recycling sites will be for the charged-for materials brought in by residents but classified as non-household: gas bottles, soil, hardcore and tyres.

And 10 sites take paid-for residents’ vehicle parts for recycling or disposal, while in a separate scheme, 10 sites accept businesses’ paid-for commercial waste, from timber to fridges.

Plastic-only payments will also be taken for “Revive” soil conditioner composted from Somerset’s garden waste and sold by every recycling site at £4 for a bag and £10 for three bags.

Payments for domestic asbestos and plasterboard will continue to be made online in advance at the Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) website.

A SWP spokesman said: “Thanks to customers and staff, the Chard and Taunton recycling site trials have proved a great success, showing that it will work well throughout the network. 

 “If anyone thinks they may have a site payment problem, they should see staff before unloading.

 “The switch from cash to cards does not involve any new charges or any changes in prices.”

 Information on card payments can be found on flyers and signage at all recycling sites.

 Details of all recycling sites, from opening hours to materials taken and links to lists of charges, can be found at http://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/sites/


Date Posted: 11/08/2017 08:44:11

Shrudrick Lane Permissive Path Brochure
Shrudrick Lane Permissive Path Brochure
Date Posted: 31/07/2017 10:33:55

Dillington Park Brochure
Dillington Park Brochure
Date Posted: 31/07/2017 10:31:34

Medieval Road & Donyatt Brochure
Medieval Road & Donyatt Brochure
Date Posted: 31/07/2017 10:30:54

Mitchells and Herne Hill Brochure
Mitchells and Herne Hill Brochure
Date Posted: 31/07/2017 10:28:25

Dowlish Wake and Kingstone Brochure
Dowlish Wake and Kingstone Brochure
Date Posted: 31/07/2017 10:27:29

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