Powys County Council has launched a pilot scheme working with volunteer leaders to improve public rights of way and local parks – and over half of the first group of leaders to be trained are Ramblers members.
While the council has benefited from the help of countryside volunteers for over ten years, the work has previously been organised and supervised by council staff. Working alongside rights of way officers the new volunteer leaders will lead and co-ordinate improvement work and so increase capacity to improve access to the countryside.
Alan Austin, Area Chair of Powys Ramblers, was part of the steering group that was key to getting the project set up. Alan said
“We are delighted to be working with the council to increase the contribution volunteers will be able to make to the rights of way network.
We are very fortunate in Powys to have some of the finest walking country in the world, accessed by a total of 12,000 footpaths, bridleways and byways. With this privilege comes the huge task of maintaining the network and the council needs all the help we can offer.
Many of our rights of way have existed for hundreds of years and they form an important part of our heritage and we owe it to ourselves and future generations to make sure they are not lost and are kept in a good state for all of us to enjoy.”
Powys Council worked with stakeholders from the Ramblers, the British Horse Society and Treadlightly to introduce the scheme, which is partly funded by Natural Resources Wales through the Joint Working Partnership. The Ramblers has also provided a grant for tools for volunteers.
If you would like to get involved as a Countryside Volunteer in Powys contact Nina Davies on 01597 827683 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in path maintenance volunteering in other areas contact Ramblers Cymru at email@example.com
Photo: volunteer team leaders officially welcomed at Royal Welsh Show reception