Welcome boost for popular footpaths
People getting out and about in the Lower Windrush Valley will notice some welcome improvements on the popular footpaths.
The Lower Windrush Valley Project (LWVP) has secured funding to improve access and promote three beautiful circular walks in the Lower Windrush Valley. The three routes have been selected because of their ease of access, beautiful scenery, proximity to local businesses and nature reserves and links with longer distance footpaths like the Windrush Path and Thames Path National Trail.
There is something for everyone – the three walks vary in length from 2.5km to 8km and two of the routes are now stile free thanks to funding that has allowed the project to replace three stiles with gates.
A description and map of each route can now be found online here: https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/residents/environment-and-planning/countryside/walks-and-rides/west-oxfordshire-walks/walking-lower-windrush-valley/circular-walks
Local communities and visitors to the area will benefit from access to more easily navigated circular walking routes, encouraging them to spend time in the countryside, increasing engagement with nature and the associated health and wellbeing benefits.
Graham Shelton, Chairman of Northmoor Parish Council, said “We are delighted to welcome walkers to our Parish. It’s a lovely quiet spot full of interesting wildlife, and we are really pleased to share it with you.
"As the walks pass through working farmland, please take care not to leave litter. And when your walk is done don’t forget to check out the warm welcome in our award-winning Community Pub, The Red Lion. Or maybe stay over in one of their luxurious ensuite shepherd’s huts.”
County Councillor Liam Walker, Cabinet member for Highway Operation and Delivery, said: "Oxfordshire’s countryside is really coming into its own at the moment as more people look for different places to go for exercise and leisure.
“It’s good to know that groups like the LWVP are playing their part in keeping their part of the countryside open and accessible by replacing things like stiles, which can be quite a barrier for some people.
“As we head into a spell of good weather I hope that people continue to enjoy Oxfordshire’s great outdoors while respecting the peace and quiet of the local communities.”
The project is being supported by Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE) with funding from Grundon Waste Management Ltd through the Landfill Communities Fund. Additional support has also been provided by Thames Path National Trail and the Oxfordshire County Council Rights of Way improvement budget.
- The Lower Windrush Valley covers 28km2 of West Oxfordshire, incorporating the floodplain of the River Windrush from Witney to where it joins the River Thames at Newbridge. Over the last 60 years the landscape character of the valley has been transformed by mineral extraction with large areas of the riverside pasture transformed into a mosaic of open water. The Lower Windrush Valley Project (LWVP) was established in 2001 by Oxfordshire County Council and coordinates action designed to generate benefit from the legacy of mineral extraction, focusing on nature conservation, access to the countryside and landscape improvements. For more information on the Lower Windrush Valley Project visit oxfordshire.gov.uk/lowerwindrushvalleyproject or 07557 082575
- For more information on TOE visit www.trustforoxfordshire.org.uk or 01865 407003