A New Path In The Woodland

£37,000 HS2 Grant For Woodland Walkway

The Parish Council is issuing this release to local media. The project is being run by the Great Central Woodland Management Committee. Parish Councillor Ron Davison is acting as project lead on behalf of the Council. All news items relating to this project will be collected together in the Great Central Woodland part of this site on the Wetland Top Path Project page (or via the menu at the top of the page under Great Central Woodland).

Woodford cum Membris Parish Council is delighted to announce it has been awarded a £37,000 Community and Environment Fund grant by HS2, independently administered by Groundwork UK, to improve access to local woodland and create safer ways for local children to reach the village school and for everyone to access other amenities.

The grant, together with top-up funding from the Parish Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy provided by local developers, will fund the construction of a new footpath adjacent to the busy Byfield Road in Woodford Halse, inside the village’s community-managed Great Central Woodland.

Byfield Road is the main road through the village connecting the Banbury-Daventry A361 road with the village, including the school. With over 300 new dwellings constructed in former fields alongside the road, access along this route for children is important. The current footpath alongside this busy road is very narrow, subject to flooding in heavy rain and involves crossing the road up to three times from one end to the other.

Great Central Woodland is a 10 hectare, green space in the heart of the village on the site of former railway marshalling yards. It was acquired on behalf of the community four years ago by the Parish Council.

Top Path Plan

The new walkway will provide a safer route to school and year-round access to the woodland suitable for the elderly, pushchair, and wheelchair users as well as easier access to the village centre for all residents living on or near Byfield Road. Work will include improving access to this part of the woodland via a wheelchair friendly slope.

The Parish Council is currently advertising for a contractor to construct the pathway. Work is estimated to take around 6 weeks. Target date for completion is before the 2021 Autumn School term.

The project is part of the Council’s 5-year strategy and 10-year management plan for the improvement of the Great Central Woodland’s ex-railway land as a village amenity.

HS2 CEF Logo

3 thoughts on “A New Path In The Woodland

  1. Denise Hulme

    We do not need this path, there are four routes up to the village and school and they are all safe. The path would destroy wildlife habitat which is becoming prevalent in the village with all the building going on without doing this.
    The money would be better spent on the bridge at the bottom of the Cinder Path over the brook which is rotting. This money could be used to build a more robust and permanent stucture which would then last for many years.

    1. John Williams Post author

      Thanks for your comment. The creation of the path is going ahead . The funding cannot be diverted to other projects. I will pass on your comments and especially your concerns on the bridge to the Woodland Management Team.

  2. Christine Wilson

    I think this is a great idea. I hope that it will be usable with my mobility scooter too as most of the woodland is not at the moment.


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