Keen cyclists and walkers in the Burnham-On-Sea area have this week been encouraged to try out the updated Strawberry Line path following a clearance project.

Members of the Axbridge-Cheddar Cycle Walkway say their 2020 vision to upgrade the Strawberry Line path between the two communities has been achieved in time for the New Year.

Following a fundraising effort, the charity raised £12,000 last year to pay for the work to remove vegetation, scrape away tons of mud and relay the path with a new hard wearing surface.

David Parkin of the ACCW says: “We’ve achieved the 2020 vision for the Axbridge-Cheddar Cycle Walkway – to get the narrow section resurfaced and free from muddy puddles.”

“Thanks to a big push from Landscapes West before Christmas, over 50 tons of mud and vegetation was scraped off before laying a good depth of base and finishing stone. Bristol Water have promised to keep their side of the fence clear of vegetation.”

As the fundraising campaign took shape last year more contributions came in from personal online donations, local councils and even a local pub.

Malcolm Conyers of the ACCW adds: “Many individuals chipped in through Justgiving online. Although nothing came from Sedgemoor’s small grants programme, Cheddar Parish Council and Axbridge Town Council gave generous support. An amazing octogenarian sponsored walk raised over £500, and the Cheddar Walking group was glad to put money where their boots often tread.

“What really cracked the match-funding campaign was the award of £5,000 from Somerset Community Foundation through the HPC community Fund. And a very substantial donation from The Riverside Inn proprietor got us close enough to our target to start work before Christmas.”

However David Parkin said the ACCW had used up much of its reserve funds which are needed to maintain and repair the rest of the pathway. He appealed to residents and regular users of the path to support their work on their Justgiving page at: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/axchedsafe

He also asked for businesses who wished to support this vital local cycle and walkway with sponsorship by contacting the treasurer Malcolm by email at m.conyers@btinternet.com

He said: “We would also welcome any business sponsorship, which has so far been remarkably absent considering the rapid growth in Cheddar housing and the value of the line to sustainable transport and tourism in the area. Any business sponsorship will be acknowledged on display boards at each end of the improved section.”

And the organisers appealed for the public to keep the pathway free of litter and dog poo by clearing up their mess and keeping the pathway clean and tidy for all to enjoy.

Click here for a guide to walking the line.