Staffordshire greenways – including Leek to Rudyard and Stafford to Newport – have been improved with backing from local volunteers in readiness for the spring and summer.
With an increase in walkers, cyclists and horse riders expected now the lighter evenings are here, the county council’s countryside services teams have been joined by volunteer groups on projects to ensure people can enjoy access to Staffordshire’s most scenic spots.
The teams maintain Staffordshire’s rights of way network and country park estate, working outdoors in all weather conditions installing stiles, gates, bridges, finger posts, and steps. This is in addition to repairing bridges, dam strengthening, ditching and drainage and cutting back of under and overgrowth.
On the Leek to Rudyard greenway, the teams have been relaying a stone surface to allow better public access, cutting back trees and carrying out other general maintenance. At Alton station, new drains have been installed on a section which has for some time been prone to flooding, making it impassable.
In the middle of the county, work to improve the surface of the Stafford to Newport Greenway has also been taking place. This involved the ditching and drainage of a section of the route at Derrington. Parts of the Isabel Trail near Stafford town centre have also been improved with stone to repair sections.
Now the countryside services team is talking to the British Horse Society as it looks to create a volunteer group to help the works team clear and maintain bridleways across Staffordshire.
Staffordshire’s cabinet member for rural affairs Gill Heath said:
“Our greenways and footpaths are very popular and enable people to get the most out of our county’s beautiful countryside, which is a real asset. As we move into spring and summer, the number of people using them increases which is pleasing to see. Without teams of dedicated and hardworking volunteers across the county, these greenways and footpaths simply wouldn’t be in the fine shape they’re in. It means our countryside remains accessible and that we can continue to attract people from Staffordshire and much further afield to enjoy all the county has to offer.”