The Loddon Valley Ramblers have made great strides when it comes to improving footpath access across the Wokingham borough. During 2019, their volunteers have installed 14 gates throughout the local area, replacing stiles and making access to the footpath network easier for all.
Wokingham Borough Council fully supports the community project and welcomes the ramblers’ work. The project contributes to the Council’s wider aim of replacing all stiles across the borough to improve accessibility.
The new gates have been purchased thanks to contributions from; the Loddon Valley Ramblers, Wokingham Borough Council, St Nicholas Hurst Parish Council, Barkham Parish Council and Swallowfield Parish Council.
The collective funding has enabled the ramblers to install 6 gates in Hurst, 3 in both Swallowfield and Barkham, along with a single gate in Arborfield and Wokingham Town. These installations follow on from previous undertakings by Loddon Valley Ramblers, and there are plans to install further gates in 2020, including in; Hurst, Ruscombe and Remenham.
“We are delighted with the hard work and commitment that the Loddon Valley Ramblers have demonstrated in improving footpath access across our borough. We will always support community groups in their endeavours to improve our local area, for our residents to enjoy.” said Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure.
David Moffett, chairman of the Loddon Valley Ramblers, added: “We are very pleased to continue with our programme of gate installations to the benefit of residents and visitors alike, and hope they make a real difference in terms of allowing more people to access our borough’s beautiful countryside.”
“I would like to thank all those who have contributed, including landowners who have granted permission to install the gates, but especially to our members who have given their time voluntarily and have worked hard on these installations. In particular, Ray Sharp has acted as project lead for all these gates and has played a crucial role in organising the installations.”
“We hope to carry on replacing as many stiles as possible with gates, but we are dependent on landowners giving permission and on funding contributions. We have had fantastic support in 2019, for which we are very grateful, and hope that this will continue.”