A passionate campaign has been launched to protect a popular footpath in an iconic part of Marlow to make sure it remains a part of the town centre for residents to enjoy.

Fears arose the picturesque path that cuts through New Court and Liston Gardens from Cromwell Gardens to the High Street would disappear after social housing company Red Kite decided to put the site up for sale in November.

While Wycombe District Council still controls part of the gardens off Liston Road, it confirmed the footpath does not currently fall in its retained land.

And now Marlow Town Council has called for residents to rally together and submit ‘user evidence forms’ which will be presented to Bucks County Council in a bid to put the footpath on the map.

Town mayor, Cllr Bob Johnson has said many would be ‘adversely affected’ if the footpaths were lost, and the Marlow Society has said it would be a ‘complete disaster’.

Scores of residents have taken to social media to show their support for the long standing footpaths, with some saying they date back as far as fifty years.

Mike New, who lives on Institute Road, fears for elderly people who will face a longer walk to the shops if the walkway is taken away from the public.

He said: “I use them every single day and they have been there since I moved to Marlow in 1967. It would be a terrible blow for many people who use them every day. It is a very confusing situation.

“People of all ages use those footpaths. Students from Borlase who don’t live in Marlow use them to cut through to the station. It can get very crowded.”

The New Court site was owned by the Liston family until Nesta Sybil Liston’s death in 1970, when she bequeathed the house and grounds to the then Urban District Council of Marlow.

Wycombe District Council then transferred the whole site to Red Kite in 2011 with the rest of its housing stock - minus part of the gardens and the car park - which are still maintained as public space by WDC.

Town council clerk, Annie Jones, said the campaign has gone ‘viral’ since it launched on Monday, with residents desperate to save the cut through route.

Natalie Trice, who grew up in Claremont Road, recalled using the pathway when she walked to school as a child, and now repeats the same route with her two young boys.

Mrs Trice said: “I think that it would be a massive shame if we were to lose this pathway as not only is a handy cut through but a part of the town's history as well as being pretty.

“I really hope that they save it as it brings the community together and is such a part of the town.”