Volunteers and partners with Cllr Maureen Dobson (Centre) holding a cheque flanked by volunteers Jacob Florin (left), Pat Bray right and the coordinator for Newark Sustrans Volunteers Alan Hudson holding a blue card. Photo courtesy of Pat Bray (Sustrans volunteer)
As well as walkers and cyclists, the trail has been designed with pushchairs and wheelchairs in mind.
Many people in the villages north of Newark and east of the Trent are eagerly awaiting the opening of the extension of the existing path from Newark.
This will allow them to walk and cycle between villages without having to use the A1133.
It should open early in 2020 and planning is well underway for the next section from Besthorpe to Fledborough Viaduct. When complete, it will complete a route from the north of Newark to the Dukeries Trail.
Our volunteers have led the initiative and they’re hoping that the completion of the works next year will allow a range of activities to take place along the trail. These include guided walks and bike rides, ecology events and ‘pushchair picnics’.
A number of other organisations have pitched in to help the volunteers including Nottinghamshire County Council, Newark and Sherwood District Council.
A number of parish councils have also helped - in particular, Collingham Parish Council. They have also received support from Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, the RSPB, Tarmac, Lincolnshire Co-op and local businesses.
Working closely with Nottinghamshire County Council, the volunteers successfully bid for investment from EU LEADER funding. This has paid for this new section of the trail linking Collingham with Besthorpe, with part of the route passing through the Besthorpe nature reserve.
County and district councillor, Mrs Maureen Dobson, has been a keen supporter of the project.
Commenting on the project, she said; “I’m passionate about opening up the Trent Vale Trail.
"We know how important it is to take regular exercise, we are always being told by the health authorities we have to do things to stop obesity and diabetes and this is one of the ways to do it.
"This path will connect the villages and open up the area for walkers who want a pleasurable afternoon stroll, a bit like me. Or cyclists and people with wheelchairs or pushchairs, no one will be left out.”
Our coordinator for Newark Sustrans Volunteers, Alan Hudson, said: “After three years of fund-raising and planning involving lots of local people, I'm really excited that construction has begun.”