Improvements made to well-used footpath in East Northants

The official opening of the new pathway in Woodford
The official opening of the new pathway in Woodford

Work to improve access to a popular footpath in East Northants is now complete.

An all-weather, fully accessible route to the East Northamptonshire Greenway from Woodford is now ready to be enjoyed by all.

The Greenway makes attractive and safer walking and cycling routes available in the heart of the Nene Valley, currently from Rushden to Woodford Lock.

In 2016 East Northamptonshire Council (ENC) awarded Woodford Parish Council (WPC) £21,000 from their Communities Facilities Fund (CFF) to improve the link to the Greenway from the village.

The parish council also received funding from Woodford Temperance Charities.

The existing footways did not allow or encourage use by families with pushchairs or disabled users, especially in the winter months.

The improvements, including new kissing gates and stone path, have been made from Church Street to Woodford Mill, giving easy access for all to access Ringstead, Stanwick Lakes and beyond.

Councillors and officers from ENC joined supporters of the project including Peter Bird, chairman of WPC, landowners Stan and Maureen Chalker, and David Stevens who worked closely with the parish council as one of the rights of way helpers on the community plan group, to officially open the new access.

ENC chairman, Cllr Colin Wright, who officially opened the upgraded footpath, said: “I was delighted to be asked to open the Greenway footpath.

“This project shows how communities working together can bring rewards and I would like to congratulate all those who worked hard to obtain the funding and those who assisted in bringing it to fruition.

“A great example of community spirit and togetherness.”

Leader of ENC, Cllr Steven North, added: “We set up this fund five years ago using money we receive from central government as new homes are created in the district.

“It’s ploughed straight back into local communities that want to improve where they live, work and play and projects such as this benefit so many people.”

For more information about the East Northamptonshire Greenway, go to www.east-northamptonshire.gov.uk/greenway.

For more details about the CFF, go to www.east-northamptonshire.gov.uk/cff.