The Monday Group in mid-Sussex

The Monday Group began in the early 1960s as a small group of local volunteers and has grown into a significant contributor to the mid-Sussex community and its visitors through the preservation, maintenance and protection of Public Rights of Way and other access routes in the local countryside in order to facilitate and encourage their use by all.


The Monday Group have around 50 members who meet (nearly) every Monday, rain or shine, to clear overgrowth, maintain path surfaces, make, assemble, install and repair items such as stiles, gates, walkways and way markers, in cooperation with landowners and other stakeholders. Production demands now require additional working on Tuesdays to ensure a steady supply.

For many years we have produced and installed our iconic stiles which landowners and managers agree are particularly stock-proof and effective. The design has evolved to incorporate lower steps and higher uprights to improve accessibility as well as dog gates and simple installation and repair to ease maintenance.

In recent years there has been a marked trend towards opening up footpaths to less able users and, whilst we promote a gap in a hedge as the preferred option, in many cases the presence of livestock makes this impracticable. We now offer kissing gates as the next best solution. Made in our own workshops, they are bespoke to the location, self-closing and made of more durable timber than those usually offered commercially. Also, being all wood, they are much more attractive than galvanised steel! They are harder to install than stiles but equally robust.

A current project is with The Friends of the South Downs, to make the entire length of a path feeding the National Park from the surrounding areas stile-free. This entails removing redundant stiles or replacing them with kissing gates. We are achieving some success in our negotiations with land managers and have so far completed two such projects with more planned.

The increased path use of the pandemic has reduced but the impact on footpath surfaces, compounded by much wet weather, is obvious particularly where footpaths have been fenced in to restrict walkers and dogs from roaming across adjacent fields.

After a steep learning curve, we now apply either a rubble and substrate infill or a suspended walkway – depending on the ground conditions – to sections that become impassable at times with deep mud or standing water.

Many of our volunteers work throughout the year to cut back the overgrowth that often restricts the width of footpaths, creating hazards and increasing wear in the middle.

Many landowners assist by cutting both sides of their hedges. but there is always plenty of clearance work to be done, especially in the spring and autumn.


For further information visit The Monday Group website at or email us at [email protected]  

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