Public asked to help Lincolnshire path repairs

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Funding cuts have prompted an appeal for volunteers to maintain thousands of miles of Lincolnshire's footpaths.

The county council said budget restrictions had made them review the way paths were maintained.

It said while a core staff would be kept to clear main routes, communities and groups which used the countryside could help look after local paths.

The Lincolnshire Access Forum questioned whether enough volunteers could be found to do the job.

Job losses

Chris Miller, countryside access manager for Lincolnshire County Council, said an existing scheme using parish councils could show the way.

"They take some responsibility for their local rights of way network, give it a bit more attention than we can, obviously we only have a limited pool of people and resources to get round that 2,500 mile network, and the parishes have just helped us along," he said.

"If we can expand that into other community groups, individuals and user groups, like the Ramblers and the British Horse Association, [it will help] to keep the network just as good as it can be."

Chris Padley, chair of the Mid-Lincolnshire Local Access Forum and member of the Lincolnshire Fieldpaths Association, said: "It would be great to have people doing this, preferably informally.

"But whether there is a pool of people who have the spare time and want to volunteer - well, I'm sure there is - but it's a question of is it big enough?"

The council is currently implementing a four-year, £125m, savings programme which is expected to cost about 1,000 posts.

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