Newsletter …………. March 2011 …………… Newsletter
The Greenways Project
We now have a continuous route from Queenswood, Dymock in the north to Bream in the south via Cliffords Mesne, Huntley, Longhope and Mitcheldean into the core Forest of Dean. Well, to be honest it is almost complete – there is a stretch through Spring Wood in Kilcot that is subject to a Definitive Map Modification Order and the owner has died, so we have to wait until probate is granted before the legal process can continue. Life is never simple!
When we last wrote to you in January we said we hoped to have some exciting news to share with you. Well we have! After intensive negotiations with the Forestry Commission (FC) and with support from Mark Harper, MP the FC has agreed to dedicate in perpetuity our spinal route from Dymock to Bream and agree to 10-yr licenses for our community routes. This means that whatever happens in the future we have secured public access for all equestrians on the spinal route once the legal process has gone through and we have the necessary funding in place. At the moment equestrians only have permission to access FC land unlike walkers who have legal right of access. Although the “heat” recently went out of the public debate over the future of our forests, we were still concerned that equestrians might get left out in the cold again. So we kept up our lobbying and meetings and were delighted with the recent FC response. We think that, given the scope of the route, this is a first in the UK involving the FC!!
We feel delighted on everyone’s behalf about the progress we have made in just over 6 months of the project. Now we need YOU to help us take it into the next stage.
The next stage is about paying for groundworks and gates etc. We desperately need someone or two to help us apply for funding – our current funders could in theory provide up to £100,000 but we need to find at least 20% of this from other sources. Completing application forms for funding can be time consuming and we need your help. Also, our project is being costed at the moment and could easily exceed the above figure. So do you have the time to do some research on our behalf? We need to find out about potential funders and their requirements etc – perhaps you have experience of this sort of work or can just spare a few hours to do some internet searching and report back to us. We really do need your help.