A country path used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders between Burnham-On-Sea and Brent Knoll is to be given £20,000 of repairs to make it fully accessible.
The condition of Crooked Lane Drove – which runs to the east of Burnham-On-Sea towards Brent Knoll – has become extremely poor due to deep ruts developing in the clay during wet weather, making the surface uneven.
The poor condition of the 1.25km-long drove has also been affecting local land managers who use it to access fields and the Internal Drainage Board to maintain Brent Broad Rhyne and ensure that water flows freely out of the area.
Now, though, a big £20,000 project is underway to upgrade the surface of the path with a new layer of compacted stone over a ‘geotextile membrane’.
The bulk of the £20,000 funding for the project has come from a ‘Hills to Levels’ grant, which covered most of the costs, and the remainder is being funded by other stakeholders.
Brent Knoll Parish Council, which is overseeing the project, said this week that the repairs will benefit many people.
A council spokesman told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “We are pleased to be associated with this project and would like to thank the Axe Brue Drainage Board for their help with design, Somerset Wild Life Conservation, Mr C. Kidner (farmer), Mr T Dibble, whose family has owned land adjacent to the Crooked Lane Drove for almost 100 years, The Royal Bath and West of England Society, Postcode Lottery and, finally, our contractor J.D Pope and Sons Ltd. The process has been an example of how different parties can work together for a successful outcome for all.”
“Brent Knoll Parish Council developed the Hills to Levels grant application because we could act as facilitator and bring everyone together to agree on the work. This role involved drawing up a suitable work specification, speaking to the neighbouring landowners and tenant farmers, contacting local contractors for work prices and obtaining all the information required for the grant application.”
Parish Councillor Colin Townsend added: “It would not have been possible to carry out the repairs to Crooked Lane Drove without the use of external funding through the Hills to Levels Project. Crooked Lane Drove is an important connecting route within our parish and we were keen to see the surface condition improved so that everyone could enjoy using it again.”
Cathy Page, Hills to Levels Project Coordinator, added: “The Hills to Levels project has had a busy year reviewing capital grants. By the end of the project, nearly 50 grants will have been awarded, and over £165,000 given out in funding thanks to players of Postcode Lottery.”
“The Brent Knoll drove project is an example of a community working together. When droves fall out of repair, the cost of carrying out the work can not only be expensive but time-consuming to liaise with the neighbouring land managers over work details and contractors for prices. The Hills to Levels grant application was developed by the parish council which carried out the liaison work between all parties and managed the contract.”
Pictured: The team behind the project with a huge £750,000 cheque which will fund the Burnham-On-Sea scheme and others like it across the region. Also pictured, the drove that is being upgraded