Orcop Parish is included in The Parish Lengthsman Scheme operated by Herefordshire Council.
Under the Lengthsman scheme a local contractor is appointed by the Parish Council to look after minor highway maintenance operations in the parish.
The Lengthsman’s typical rounds include clearing leaves and debris from ditches and drains, clearing obscured traffic signs, trimming verges and overgrown hedges, painting and repairing fences.
The origins of a Lengthsman date back to the 19th century when a local person was employed to maintain the highways and byways.
Slowly, with increased mechanisation and centralisation, this once familiar figure with his shovel and hook, disappeared from our rural byways.
Parish Councils receive funding from Herefordshire Council by claiming £100 for each kilometre of non-principal road maintained over the first three years, dropping to £75 per kilometre in subsequent years.
Main “A” roads remain the responsibility of the County Highways team.
The Lengthsman Scheme is very popular with parishes who view it as an opportunity to restore pride into their own communities, by giving them more responsibility for their own maintenance.
By employing someone with local knowledge they can act swiftly in response to new problems.
“It is refreshing to see, at a time when many traditional ways of rural life are being lost, that this practice is being safeguarded and expanded.
- To keep gully grid tops, drainage grips and highway culverts free of leaves and other debris
- To maintain road signs, ensuring their general visibility
- Trim overgrown hedgerows and trees along footways and strim overgrowth
- To sweep and keep tidy all public footpaths within village boundaries
- To clear minor storm debris discharged onto the highway as is reasonable and practical
- Carry out any other such work as directed by the Parish Council e.g. fence management and litter picking
- To inform the Parish of any major problems requiring attention
- Nominated task specifically relating to a Minor Highway Maintenance Item – as and when agreed by the Divisional Surveyor