Thanks to Defra funding several new access improvement projects around the Dorset AONB have been completed in in the last few months.
Dorset Council’s Ranger Service, working closely with Dorset AONB, managed to battle the recent bad weather and muddy conditions to improve access for all between Bradpole and Bridport.
The works across Happy Island were the result of the Ranger Service noting that the muddy state of the paths for much of the year were deterring residents of Bradpole from using the paths to get into Bridport. The new surface improvements have resolved the issue and made the paths much more accessible for people with mobility issues.
The Ranger team resurfaced the path and also created a new easy access slope. They worked closely with the Environment Agency and landowners, and the result is a wonderful path that people will be able to enjoy year-round.
Resolving the problems with the path means people can walk into Bridport much more easily and quickly, avoiding the need to get in the car.
Other projects which will benefit are upcoming improvements to paths around Blackdown near Hardy’s Monument, preparatory work for cycleway improvements from Norden/ Purbeck Park, cycle and footpath improvements from Vearse Farm into Bridport, and improvements to the path between Bridport brewery and West Bay.
The projects have been made possible due to funding from Defra. They awarded each of England’s National Parks and AONBs an uplift in its core grant to help make our protected landscapes more accessible to people of all ages and abilities and from all backgrounds.
Phil Sterling, Chair of Dorset AONB Partnership Board, said: “It’s been great to direct Defra investment into broadening access in the Dorset AONB. More funds are available from April 2024 and the team will work up another set of deserving projects over the coming year’