A West Country countryside access charity, Mendip Cross Trails Trust (MCTT),
announced in October that a section of an exciting rural trail had been funded by Natural England, through Defra’s Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund.
A grant of £91,300 has been awarded towards the completion of a safe rural access trail across the Mendip Hills to link the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to the Wiltshire Downs/Cranborne Chase AONB, and eventually to the Cotswold Hills AONB. The funding will be used to reward landowners for providing new access and for the provision of high-quality installation works.
MCTT will be working with AONB officers to deliver the project, which will provide opportunities for everyone to access the Mendip Hills in a sustainable way — on foot, by bike or horse, instead of by car.
Amy Rollins of the ECOS Trust (the Trust for Sustainable Development) said, “We have been working with MCTT over the last year, as its aims are a good fit with ours.
“We are confident that the work of MCTT will prove to be a real and lasting asset for the area.”
MCTT would like to thank the many local user and amenity groups, and businesses — particularly the Quarry Producers — who wrote in support of the project, and also the landowners who have so far agreed to new access.
MCTT project officer Rachel Thompson said: “This grant has taken six months of work to achieve and we would like to thank the Natural England ALSF grant team and our partners Somerset County Council and the Mendip Hills AONB for their help and support. This has also only been made possible by all those who have supported MCTT in the last year.
“We need to raise substantial funds through membership and events in order to access these grants, which are often match-funded. We would encourage all those who value or benefit from access to the countryside on foot, bike or by horse or through rural businesses to join — working together we can all achieve so much more.”
More details on www.mctt.org.uk.