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Horse Power!
Thursday 29th January, 2009

Horse Power!
Horse riders at Pennington Flash.

A new bridleway is coming to Pennington Flash Country Park. As well as benefiting horseriders and cyclists this new route will provide valuable access for disabled users between Pennington Flash and the Leeds & Liverpool canal.

Local path users are delighted that an extra mile of bridleway will be available which they can use around the popular Leigh nature reserve.

The first visual evidence will be the installation of a brand new bridle bridge across Westleigh Brook next month. This will be followed by improved surfacing and a graded access in place of steps at the southern end. This will allow horse riders, cyclists and disabled users safe access to a larger area of the park.

“This marks a substantial investment in the scheme,” says Cllr David Molyneux, cabinet environment champion. “It will bring a safe, modern route to Leigh which will offer a high quality entrance to the park, not just for horse riders, but for walkers, cyclists and the disabled too.”

The new bridge will sit alongside the older structure for the time being, with the old footbridge to be relocated and the area landscaped when the ground conditions improve.

The scheme has been warmly welcomed by local rights of way enthusiasts and nature lovers, and follows a period of consultation with highways users. Jackie Roberts of the Crankwood, Abram and Lowton Bridleway Group says: "The group think that the new definitive bridleway is wonderful. It will make a safer route for the horse riders and all users. Many thanks to the council for their work implementing the rights of way improvement plan for the borough."

The project begins in February and is the first major scheme to be delivered under the rights of way improvement plan (ROWIP) which was adopted by Wigan Council in February 2008. The ROWIP sets out the council’s aims for improving access for all people on footpaths and bridleways across the borough. Further information on the ROWIP and the work of the rights of way team can be found on the council’s website.

The ROWIP also ties in with the Greenheart Regional Park scheme. Greenheart is bringing together the borough’s countryside from Haigh Hall in Wigan, Amberswood Common, the new “Rushes” country park in Bickershaw and Pennington Flash itself, and will offer information on activities and events in the local countryside and ensuring high quality access and facilities for walkers, cyclists, horseriders and less abled nature lovers.

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