Dec 2021 – Royal Naval Cordite Factory, Holton Heath, Dorset.

Following the walk (and boat journey!) report by Richard Lewis on this branch in our most recent Walk Reports Supplement, a letter was published in the Winter 2021 edition of the Swanage Railway Magazine about the line, which used to export cordite to UK munition sites via Poole Harbour. The factory site is now occupied by the Holton Heath Trading Estate, while the line ran to Rockley Jetty, crossing the main line by a bridge that remains in situ, although it is said 15 to be unsafe and due for removal. It would require a replacement for the branch to become a walking and cycling route. After the line’s closure, access was possible from near the Holton Heath Nature Reserve and from Holton Lee. If designated a Public Right of Way, it would leave only the crossing of the entrance to Lytchett Bay by bridge to Rockley Sands to achieve a new direct route to Poole. However, the application submitted in 2010 claiming a right of way footpath was rejected in December 2020. The result of an appeal against this decision will shortly be known. A leaflet describing the walk does exist, though, and may be found on the Poole Harbour Trails website.

(Swanage Railway Magazine; Chris Witt)