A new woodland footpath has been created at the cost of £19,500 in a scenic part of Harpenden.
The walkway, on land owned by St Albans City and District Council, links Crabtree Fields car park with the Lea Valley Walk.
10th Harpenden Scouts, who have their hut near the route, came up with the idea of opening up the area to residents and visitors. They have now taken on responsibility for the path’s upkeep.
The Scouts group obtained a grant from the Fields in Trust charity for £5,000 and approached the Council for help in completing the project.
The Council secured £13,500 from S106 funds, money contributed by property developers to provide local amenities and infrastructure.
It contributed a further £1,000 to cover the full cost and managed the works contract.
A route had to be cleared through the overgrown area before the path could be formed
It runs for about half-a-kilometre and includes a flight of concrete and wooden steps down an embankment where it joins the Lea Valley Walk.
The public was consulted about the scheme with the Scouts helping to deliver leaflets to local residents asking for their views.
Feedback led to the route being changed slightly and a more sustainable and harder wearing surface being laid.
Councillor Daniel Chichester-Miles, the Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment, said: “This is a magnificent new pathway which will be enjoyed by residents for many, many years to come.
“The 10th Harpenden Scouts have done an outstanding job in devising the scheme and then seeing it through to the extent that they have taken on the task of maintaining it. They are to be commended for the community spirit and energy that they have shown.”
Fields in Trust Chief Executive, Helen Griffiths, said: “We are delighted that we have been able to support this valuable community asset for the long-term and to help fund the improvements with a Fields in Trust County Fund grant”.
Ben Ramsay of the 10th Harpenden Scouts said: “Our troop really threw themselves into this valuable community project and will continue to maintain the pathway.
“They have been involved in drawing up the proposals, fund raising and consulting with the public. It has been a great experience for them and we hope the public take enjoyment from what they’ve done.”
Fields in Trust operate throughout the UK to protect recreational spaces and campaign for better statutory protection for outdoor sites. For more information see: http://www.fieldsintrust.org/
Cllr Daniel Chichester-Miles, Portfolio Holder for the Environment, St Albans City and District Council
Tel 01727 819281 Email: Cllr.D.Chichester-Miles@stalbans.gov.uk
Contact for the media:
John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, St Albans City and District Council
Tel: 01727 296130