East Northamptonshire Council members have approved £345,000 of funding to grow and improve the Greenway route that walkers and cyclists enjoy throughout East Northamptonshire and beyond.
Phase 5 will see the network extend in and around Rushden Lakes, Stanwick Lakes and to the main town centres of Rushden, Irthlingborough and Higham Ferrers.
The re-instatement of bailey bridges will provide a continuous link from Rushden Lakes to the main Greenway route making it easier to access the retail park without using a car, something local residents appreciate and enjoy.
The Higham Ferrers to Irthlingborough stretch will receive improvements to signage and new interpretation boards that help people to navigate the Greenway.
The boards will also provide information on the surrounding landscape, especially the wildlife reserves and lakes.
And a new leg of the Greenway will be created between Islip and Woodford Lock that will create an important connection between the middle sections of East Northamptonshire and Stanwick Lakes.
This will make it easier for Greenway users to access the many villages and sights along that section of the route.
Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, Cllr Steven North, said: “We know how much local walkers and cyclists of all ages and abilities enjoy the Greenway and, along with our partners, want to see it develop with an extended network and better ways for people to make the most of this route.
“We’re very keen to see as many people as possible using this network not only because walking and cycling is good for your physical health but because a green route through our beautiful district is great for your mental health too. “It’s an asset of which we’re very proud.”
£300,000 investment has been made available for constructing phases 7 and 8 of the Greenway, with the funding coming from the council’s New Homes Bonus reserve.
£45,000 investment is for various works on phase 5 of the Greenway and this funding is part of financial contributions required by housing site developers building nearby.
All works will take into account nesting bird species and other seasonal issues around fauna and flora.