Alverstone Access Improvement Scheme Now Completed
The improvement access at Alverstone has now been completed and the trail was opened by the High Sheriff, Susie Sheldon at a ceremony on 23rd October 2011. Many thanks to everyone who have sent in photos showing how the scheme has progressed over the last several months.
The Isle of Wight Ramblers was successful in obtaining a grant towards the £38000 project for the improvement of footpaths at the Nature Reserves in Alverstone.
This was a joint project with Wight Nature Fund. 80% of the cost is being provided from the South East England Development Agency "Rural Development Programme" This is an EU fund. The remaining cost was shared by Wight Nature Fund and IOW Ramblers legacy fund.
The project was in two phases. Phase 1 was completed in March 2011. This involved the replacement of a boardwalk at Alverstone Mead and included a new section to access a very muddy path. Stiles have been removed and replaced with gates. Disabled access at the bird hide has been improved.
Phase 2 commenced in June at Youngwoods Copse. A new footpath linking footpath NC51 at Webster Way with the Newport to Sandown cycleway was created crossing a new bridge to link with the cycle way. The wood is an important site of special scientific interest. A large part of the new path has been boarded due to the marshy conditions in the wood.
The timberwork has been supplied and fitted by Island Company Clifford Matthews Ltd.
The completion of the new path has resuledt in a 2.2 mile easy access trail around the nature reserves. The site can easily be accessed from Sandown railway station via a 4.4 circular walk. A new leaflet describing the 4 mile trail starting at Sandown Station has been produced and id being distributed widely or you can can download a copy via this PDF Link.
These significant achievements have provided improved facilities for countryside users, particularly the less mobile. The "easy access trail" should encourage more people to take up walking as part of a healthy lifestyle and hopefully become members of the Ramblers.