A PROJECT which would link two villages closer together with the construction a bridleway is being pursued.
At the last meeting of Ipstones Parish Council, members were informed that grants were available to construct a bridleway at Mill Dam, which runs off Shay Lane in Ipstones, to the village of Foxt.
Presently just a footpath connects the two communities and horse riders have to use narrow roads in the area to travel between the two villages.
A bridleway would allow horse owners and walkers a wider space along the valley, which would result in an enjoyable walk between the communities.
Speaking to parish councillors on the proposal, Christine Worth, said: “Staffordshire Moorlands Bridleways would lead the project, but before the application went in support would be needed.
“There is Government funding for parish communities available over the next two years.
“The aim of the project is to improve the right of way network to the area for visitors and residents.
“There has been an agreement in principle with landowners.
“We have to put in an expression of interest before funding goes in.”
Councillor John Barks said that years ago there was road across the valley.
He said: “The site is nothing like it was as there is now just a footpath.
“At one time there was a roadway.” Councillor Linda Malyon said that the parish council should support the proposed scheme.
She said: “A grant could be obtained from the Churnet Valley Living Landscape Partnership.
“Project like this are being pushed forward in the Churned Valley Master Plan which is presently being prepared by the Moorlands council. It is a must we support this scheme.
“I proposed the bridleway committee do the initial work and then come back to us.” Chairman of the parish council, Andrew Stevenson, said that the proposals needed to be established with the landowners.
He said: “We would need estimates to what kind of work was required and what material were needed. The project would benefit both villages, which are both part of the parish.”
Mrs Worth said that fencing and stone would be required to make the area sustainable.
The Churnet Valley Living Landscape Partnership programme is focussing on some of the most treasured landscapes and unique heritage, supporting communities and organisations with local initiatives to boost the conservation, management and knowledge of the natural landscape and built heritage.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) announced support of £1.89 million for the Churnet Valley through HLF’s Landscape Partnership programme in March 2012.
Work on the ground commenced in October 2012 and will be rolling out over the next four years.