PEOPLE can enjoy getting closer to nature on West Berkshire’s commons after the completion of a £230,000 project.
The Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) celebrated the conclusion of a two-year access improvement project across the district last week.
The project included a redesign of the car park at Pyle Hill to accommodate disabled parking; a new easy access trail and refurbishment of the disabled toilets and car park at Snelsmore Common, and new orientation and interpretation boards at Greenham Common.
Work was also carried out on installing safer crossing points for horse riders at Padworth Common and new orientation boards.
Paices Wood, in Aldermaston, also benefitted from a new pond with a dipping platform, refurbished waymarked routes, orientation panels and an outdoor classroom area.
A redesign of the car park and easy access trail at Wokefield Common was also carried out.
Senior land manager for Berkshire at BBOWT, Alex Cruickshank, said that improving access on the commons had been a priority.
He said: “They are so special for wildlife that we wanted to make it as easy and safe as possible for more people to come here and enjoy walking, running, cycling and horse-riding.
“Many of the new tracks and trails are accessible for families with buggies and people using powered wheelchairs.”
The project was funded by Grundon Waste Management Ltd, Greenham Common Trust, BBOWT and West Berkshire Council.
Mr Cruickshank said: “We could not have done this project without the generous funding from these organisations, as well as the invaluable help and sheer muscle-power from BBOWT’s volunteers who did a great deal of the work clearing paths, making new tracks and installing gates.”
West Berkshire executive member for countryside, Dominic Boeck (Con, Aldermaston) said: “This is a marvellous achievement and a great example of what can be achieved by the strength of the collective.
“We are committed to preserving these beautiful spaces and to ensuring that as many people as possible are able to access and enjoy them.”