A countryside volunteer group that helps to manage and maintain the county’s rights of way, parks, playgrounds and open spaces has received a funding boost thanks to a local ramblers group.
Powys Ramblers has given Powys County Council a £2,000 grant to help pay for the expansion of the Countryside Volunteers programme. The programme, which is also funded by Natural Resources Wales through Joint Partnership Funding, is managed by the council’s Countryside Services Team.
The grant fund will help kit out new volunteers with first aid kits, hi-vis jackets and safety boots. A Cable Avoidance Tool (CAT) and Genny has already been purchased with the funding, which will be used by volunteer team leaders to help undertake safe digging.
The council’s Countryside Services Team has been working with the Powys Ramblers, the British Horse Society and Treadlightly to expand the volunteer programme in the county. The team has successfully launched the Volunteer Team Leader scheme and recruited new volunteers. There are now six volunteer team leaders and more than 50 volunteers around the county.
Under the guidance of the six new Volunteer Team Leaders and Countryside Officers, the volunteers will be able to work in teams across the county helping landowners and the council to maintain paths, parks and playgrounds.
Cllr John Powell, Cabinet Member for Countryside Services, said: “I would like to thank the Powys Ramblers for providing this grant for such an important and worthy programme.”
The volunteers will become a familiar sight around Powys as they help us manage and maintain the 9,200km of public rights of way as well as the numerous parks, playgrounds and open spaces in the county. The Countryside Volunteers have already made an impact by building and maintaining hundreds of bridges and boardwalks as well as installing countless self-closing gates in recent years.
“The programme would not be possible if it weren’t for the help and advice from Powys Ramblers, the British Horse Society and Treadlightly. Their contribution has been invaluable and I hope that this partnership working will continue to the benefit of residents and visitors who regularly use our outdoor spaces.”
Alan Austin, Chair of Powys Ramblers, said: “One of the main purposes of Ramblers is to maintain and improve the places we enjoy to walk, so we are delighted to be working in partnership with the Powys County Council and their Countryside Volunteers to help achieve this aim. This donation of £2,000 compliments the volunteering work of many of our members by helping to provide vital tools and equipment.
“Powys is blessed with some of the world’s finest landscapes and walking routes. Today, these priceless assets play a big part in developing tourism and encouraging healthy lifestyles. Also, they must be preserved for future generations.
“With one of the largest rights of way network in the whole of Britain, the council needs all the help we can offer.”
If you’re interested in becoming a Countryside Volunteer, contact Nina Davies on 01597 827683 or email firstname.lastname@example.org