Landowner, 55, installs razor-sharp barbed wire and 'keep out' signs on footpath after rowing with 'abusive' walkers

A LANDOWNER has installed razor-sharp barbed wire and a "keep out" sign on a public footpath after rowing with "abusive" walkers.

Frances Payne, 55, claims she has been repeatedly sworn at and even physically attacked by "bullying" ramblers who stray onto her land near a beauty spot.

She has now blocked the footpath running beside her Hampton Hill home in Evesham, Worcestershire.

Mrs Payne stormed: "I got attacked and it is not safe for me to walk on my property now.

"There is a path through but people trespass and when asked not to they get nasty, very nasty, or they say it is not my land.

"I have had people walking all over the weir which is nowhere near the footpath, they just argue when you tell them they shouldn't be there.

"They won't move."

She has gone to the police but officers told her "it is not a matter for them".

Mrs Payne continued: "I saw kids up there smoking drugs the other day. There are very few people who come through here without a problem.

"There are some nice people who quietly walk through, I have no issue with them, but a lot are quite nasty and it is not in the past tense, this is carrying on now.

"Please be assured I am very sorry for the normal, pleasant people who do the right thing while coming through here.

"I think people ought to know the Countryside Code and have some manners in the country."

Mrs Payne says fellow landowners nearby have had similar problems with vandalism and having items being thrown in the river.

She said she had no choice but to install the deterrents, arguing "it is my land".

"That barbed wire has gone up because, in my mind, it is closed," she added.

"It is my land. I am aware it is probably illegal to shut a footpath but it is also illegal to attack and assault people, incite people, and have a mob culture.

"As a 55-year-old woman I have to guard my own safety and that of other people on that track.

"It has got far too toxic and I have every right to defend my own health and safety. I don't feel I have a choice."

The landowner claimed one couple cut the fencing every night so she erected metal fencing and started "enclosing her own land".

She added: "We have cameras down here, it is a security measure.

"I have been assaulted with a stick, I have been assaulted by boys on bicycles. Blood has been drawn.

"I am trying to maintain the countryside and nature.

"They rip down signs saying no cycling but on Saturday I was run over from behind and ended up in the bushes. I am sure it was deliberate.

"I do not appreciate being pushed into the bushes on my own land so yes, they can go round."

Worcestershire County Council says it is working with Mrs Payne to re-open the path to walkers.

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