An old Leyland bridleway has been transformed into a multi-use track for the benefit of the whole community.
The Malt Kiln Fold Bridleway, around the Moss Side Playing Fields near Moss Side Way and Slater Lane, officially reopened on Wednesday after £25,000 worth of improvements were carried out.
The bridleway, created almost 20 years ago, had become neglected and fallen into disrepair, so the Ulnes Walton Bridleways Association (UWBA) led a major refurbishment project to reinstate the path to its former glory.
The path’s old, rotted woodchip surface has been removed and replaced with the recycled product ‘Troptec’.
Now, it will provide an off-road route for the many local equestrians, as well as for cyclists, walkers and people with wheelchairs and pushchairs.
Chair of the UWBA, Sue Taylor-Green, said: “We are delighted that the improved bridleway has opened for the public to use.
“In addition to improving access for horse riders, the whole community can now enjoy the beautiful natural parkland which was previously inaccessible to wheelchairs, pushchairs and cyclists.” The scheme was the first phase of work to improve the Moss Side Playing Fields area, with further work planned to expand the car parking facilities and improve the rugby and football pitches at the site.
Funding for this part of the work has come from the UWBA, the South Ribble Partnership, the Harold and Alice Bridges Charity, Lancashire Environmental Fund, and the Veolia Environmental Trust.
The executive director of the Veolia Environmental Trust, Paul Taylor, said: “This project has created an accessible route to the beautiful surroundings of Lostock Valley.
“The improved path will encourage physical outdoor exercise and engage local people with the environment.
“I hope it is used and enjoyed for many years to come.”
The path was officially opened by Mark Weston, the director of access, safety and welfare at the British Horse Society.
The ribbon was cut by the Mayor of South Ribble, Coun Graham Walton, who was joined by mayoress Karen.