Work begins to tackle flooding in Rugby's Great Central nature trail - The Rugby Observer

Work begins to tackle flooding in Rugby's Great Central nature trail

Correspondent 3rd Feb, 2017   0

A FLOOD-prone stretch of a nature trail popular with ramblers and cyclists will be easier to navigate now drainage improvement work has begun.

Rugby Borough Council secured a £52,000 grant from the Veolia Environmental Trust, awarded via the Landfill Communities Fund, to tackle flooding on the Great Central Way footpath and cycleway between the Clifton Road bridge and Hillmorton’s Pytchley Road.

Flooding regularly blocks the three-quarter of a mile stretch of the former Great Central Railway line, forcing walkers and cyclists to take a detour through the nature reserve which runs next to the path.

The grant means the path, part of the National Cycle Network, can be raised, with drainage pipes installed to divert water into the nature reserve – which includes important wetland wildlife habitat.

Work on the improvements started earlier this month and looks set to be completed in March.

Rugby Borough Council’s environment and public realm spokeswoman Coun Lisa Parker said: “The Great Central Way is an important ‘green link’ to the town centre from Brownsover to the north and Hillmorton to the south, and has long been popular with walkers and cyclists.

“I’m delighted this grant from the Veolia Environmental Trust has allowed us to carry out work to tackle flooding on this particular stretch of the route, protecting wildlife habitats and ensuring access to all the residents who use it.”

The council’s funding application was submitted in partnership with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, Rugby Wildlife Group, Warwickshire County Council, Rugby Cycle Forum, Rugby Disability Forum and Sustrans – the charity which co-ordinates the National Cycle Network.

Veolia Environmental Trust executive director Paul Taylor said: “We were very pleased to support this important project.

“It’s great to hear work has started and I look forward to seeing the improved path being used and enjoyed.”

Dan Robertson, volunteer co-ordinator at Sustrans, said: “Our volunteers have been helping to maintain this much loved and important part of the National Cycle Network for some time and we’re delighted this work is now underway.

“These improvements will give it a whole new lease of life and make it easier for our volunteers to get more people involved in cycling and walking in Rugby.

Rugby Borough Council bought a four-and-a-half mile stretch of the old Great Central Railway line – totalling nearly 100 acres of land – in 1970 for £5,500.

A designated nature reserve managed by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust with support from Rugby Wildlife Group volunteers, it has become home to a diverse range of wildlife and plants.


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