All-weather path for Woolton Hill
There will be no more wet feet in Woolton Hill after work started on a new all-weather path across the parish field.
The path, which will stretch from the south west corner on Trade Street near Woolton Hill surgery to the north east corner on Church Road, will help children get to school more safely and keep the field accessible even in the worst throes of British weather.
The path will be made of Fittleworth sandstone, which is designed to be firm underfoot with a little give – similar to those found on National Trust properties.
Work on the path started yesterday (Wednesday) and will take approximately two weeks, during which time the path will be closed to the public.
A grant from Basingstoke and Deane Local Infrastructure Fund will provide 50 per cent of the cost of the path, with the other half from East Woodhay Parish Council reserves.
Parish councillor Mark Rand said the path would help everybody in the community.
He said: “That path across the field is a permissive path and the field itself goes between the schools and surgery where there are lots of small children.
“At the moment, for a number of months of the year the field is too wet for people to walk across without wearing Wellington boots.
“It’s not practical for children to wear boots for school so during that time the children have to walk along the roads and over time the roads are getting busier.
“So there’s the danger for the children, but also for people going the other way to Woolton Hill surgery – they may have walking difficulties, and even in summer it might be too uneven.
“As you walk across the field you can look up at the downs – it’s a lovely view, but of course not everyone can enjoy it.
“Hopefully we can make it easier for everyone.”
The path is part of an ongoing project by the parish council to make the area more accessible for everyone, including stiles being replaced with kissing gates.
Mr Rand dispelled any fears that this was the start of a bigger project on the field.
He added: “This isn’t the start of putting anything more major on there. We’re trying to increase the biodiversity.”