A brand new £500,000 path linking Weston-super-Mare to Brean Down is set to be unveiled on Bank Holiday Monday with the inaugural ride taking place.
It has taken 20 years of planning but cyclists and walkers will finally be able to enjoy the route, however organisers say the path will not be fully completed until the end of May.
Called the Brean Down Way, it runs for eight miles from Weston Pier to Brean Down Fort and provides walkers and cyclists with a long-awaited route using the Brean Cross Sluice to get over the River Axe.
John Grimshaw, the overall lead, pictured above, from charitable body Greenways And Cycle Routes told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “It’s great that this path is being unveiled – it’s something that a lot of local people have wanted for many years.”
Caroline Levett, who has overseen grant funding applications, and is also pictured above, says she’s delighted the project has secured funding from several big organisations, including North Somerset Council, Sedgemoor District Council and the government’s Coastal Communities Fund.
The path will be used by holidaymakers wanting to travel between Weston and Brean, and by walkers who want a safe route to enjoy the superb countryside and coastal views around Brean and Uphill.
It starts by the beach in Uphill, although people can easily start along Weston’s seafront. It will take you to the National Trust coffee shop in Brean Down and out to the wartime fort.
The work to complete the path is a real community effort. Over 100 volunteers are currently involved in completing the final section of the project in Brean – with some travelling from as far afield as Scotland to join in.
The youngest member of the working party, Myron, is just six years old and the oldest is David Judd, 79, both of whom are pictured above.
Katy Hallett, above, is overseeing an incredible wooden structure called the ‘Great Bird Wall of Brean’ which is 120 metres long and includes 1,000 plants of larch wood.
Katy, who specialises in public art, told Buirnham-On-Sea.com: “This wall has been designed to reflect the landscape around it and resembles drift wood washed up on a beach – the design allows the wind through, and gives glimpses of Brean Down behind. It’s here to protect the red shanks as this is an important roosting ground for them.”
Cycling from Birnbeck Pier to the National Trust coffee shop in Brean Down is estimated to take about an hour. At the inagural ride on Monday May 1st, cyclists will start from Weston’s Grand Pier at 12.30pm. From then, it is open to anyone.