Following a successful application to the Welsh Government's Access Improvement Grant, Monmouthshire County Council is launching the Paths to Community Project.
This project focuses on developing ways to make the public rights of way network more sustainable in the long term and will contribute towards social justice, wellbeing and resilient communities targets.
Part of the project enables Monlife Countryside Access staff to work with community volunteer groups, providing them with materials, training and information, while making physical improvements to signage and the accessibility of routes.
To expand upon this project, Monmouthshire County Council has signed a Service Level Agreement with Ramblers Cymru – the first of its kind in Wales or England.
This will allow the Council to utilise part of this Welsh Government Access Improvement Funding to work with three more community volunteer groups in Monmouthshire. The funding will be administered by the Council, with Ramblers Cymru providing a full-time officer to provide a programme of events, training and engagement to reach wider audiences.
A public launch event is being held between 2pm and 4pm on Saturday, October 28 at Magor and Undy Community Hub. This event will allow residents to come along and learn more about the project and how they can get involved.
Cllr. Catrin Maby, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and the Environment said: "We are delighted to be working with Ramblers Cymru to help improve local paths and access to nature. The new Service Level Agreement with the ramblers is a significant partnership which allows us to improve the public rights of way here in Monmouthshire. This will provide residents and visitors with the best routes to go walking or hiking, connecting communities and local economies.
“Our paths are gateways which connect our communities and help us get out into the natural environment. I would urge anyone interested to join the Walk and Talks events and the launch on October 28."
Angela Charlton, Director of Ramblers Cymru added: “We are looking for volunteers to get involved with our work to help us put walking at the heart of communities and provide people with the opportunity to learn new skills. If you are passionate about walking in your community, then we would love to hear from you.”
Walk and Talks events:
Monmouth: Wednesday, October 25, 2pm to 4pm, starting at the Skatepark car park, Rockfield Road, Monmouth, NP25 5AS
Usk: Thursday, October 26, 2pm to 4pm, starting at Cefn Illa Nature Reserve car park