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Residents urged to get stuck in with rights of way

Created on 25/05/2017 @ 11:01
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Residents are being urged to help improve their local Rights of Way in the Abermule and Dolfor communities, as well as others in the area.

Several communities around the Newtown area will benefit from a new project to improve the Right of Way network in their area, Powys County Council has announced.
The scheme aims to enable communities to take an active role in managing local countryside access and to take ownership of the Rights of Way network.  It operates within the Vale of Montgomery Rural Cluster Group encompassing the areas of Abermule, Berriew, Dolfor, Forden, Kerry, Leighton, Llandyssil, Sarn and Trelystan community councils and Montgomery Town Council.
“This project aims to encourage residents to be proactive in undertaking basic path maintenance and improvements in their local area. Communities will also be encouraged to identify which works to prioritise and funding is available to publicise and promote routes as the community sees fit,” said a council spokesperson.  
“This grass roots project could help to further strengthen the community by bringing together people from different social circles. With landowners and volunteers all living in the local neighbourhood it is hoped they may get to know each other better, developing a greater understanding of each other’s concerns and mutually looking after their interests.
“The success of the scheme is entirely dependent on volunteers coming forward to help undertake works. They can expect enjoyable days out in the countryside in the company of like-minded people undertaking basic maintenance tasks such as vegetation clearance, or path improvements like replacing stiles with gates.”
The council’s Countryside Services Team will be providing volunteers with their own tool kits and safety equipment and will supply all materials for the works.

Initially a Rights of Way officer will be present on site but the long term aim is to train team leaders to fulfil all the health and safety and pre-planning requirements.
Stuart Mackintosh, the council’s Head of Leisure and Recreation, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who is interested in becoming part of a team that will make a real difference to countryside access in your area.
“It is a chance to get to know your Rights of Way network better while developing practical skills in an enjoyable way, surrounded by the natural beauty of the Vale of Montgomery. Nothing will be asked of you that is beyond your ability or inclination.
“You will be rewarded with a real sense of achievement and a reminder of your contribution to the community every time you use that path.”
Countryside access is an important resource which contributes to our health and well-being as well as creating recreational opportunities and making a significant contribution to the local tourism economy.   The efforts of volunteers and local communities is vital to keeping local paths open and useable. 
If you are interested in getting involved or want to know more, contact Phil Johnson, the Community Delivery Officer for the project at (07779 989967) or talk to your local Community Councillor.

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