Thanks to support, Community Partnership takes on the next project
On the 4th November 22 volunteers started the revamp of the “old railway line” Bridleway from Rotary Way towards the airport. This is a section not as well used by local residents and the plan is to improve the rest of the bridleway, now a Wildlife Corridor bringing it up to the same standard as the previous route from Callerton Lane. This will encourage residents and visitors to enjoy this rural setting with a more diverse usage than at present. It is hoped that by including information on the distance between pedestals, in steps, it will encourage its use as part of keeping fit or as part of a medical recovery programme for those who find they are in need of more exercise.
The Community Partnership has been successful in obtaining tremendous support from local volunteers and organisations, Community Foundation – Local Environmental Action Fund, Ward Bros and the Northumberland County Council Countryside Officer. Without this level of support and cooperation this project would not happen. Volunteers are doing most of the manual work with Ward Bros taking on the replacement of a fence and an area that is usually wet having the surface re levelled and treated to allow for better drainage and run off into the adjacent fields – this has been donated to the project by Ward Bros using their manpower, equipment and materials. The Environmental Fund grant from Community Foundation will cover the publicity; work on the website and the 3 educational interpretation pedestals. At the moment the community partnership is working with the local History Society, Wildlife Group and Friends of the Ponteland Park with the research for the displays and the NCC Countryside Officer has contributed 3 perch benches, to be located close to the displays and 100 trees to be planted early next year. Friends of the Ponteland Park will also be donating 100 wild flowers to be planted at the end of the project.
So far, this next section has had the first litter pick and pruning back of trees and shrubs to allow the footpath to be widened to approximately 2 metres which is close to the original width of the old railway line. All of the preparation was completed on the 4th November for the first section which takes us to the first location for an educational interpretation pedestal showing railway heritage and the explosives ICI depot location for a storage and distribution which needed to be within good road and rail network but sufficiently remote for safety.
Depending on the weather Ward Bros will be starting the work on the path sometime between December and February with the tree planting being scheduled for next spring.
Please get in touch if you would like to help us, contact at: www.pontelandcommunitypartnership.com
On the 30th Sept a ‘Celebration of Community Spirit’ took place at the Callerton Lane end of the bridleway with a cutting of the ribbon by Ponteland Mayor, Alan Valey and BBC Radio presenter Marianne Foster.
This celebration was bringing together the completion of the community project to revamp this stretch of the bridleway which happened this spring, receiving a highly recommended at the Northumberland LOVE Awards and the additional status of the bridleway to Wildlife Corridor. All of this was made possible due to the efforts of the community.
The Bridleway Project was a Ponteland Community Partnership Project, which is part of the “Old Railway Line” from the early 1900’s, was initially part of the Neighbourhood Plan list of potential projects.
The Neighbourhood Plan Group was involved with putting together the planning policies and the Ponteland Community Partnership decided to take on this particular project; a revamp of the Bridleway between Callerton Lane to Rotary Way.
This generated a massive community involvement, apart from tidying up, pruning, planting 75 trees and planting wild flowers Northumberland County Council have supported us through their Countryside Officer in planning and with widening the footpath.
The Community Partnership gained funding through the Community Chest to provide 2 educational interpretation panels; one at Callerton Lane the other at Rotary Way.
We are grateful to the Local History Society and a local resident for providing photos and information for the educational interpretation pedestals this provided the basis of the artwork for the pedestals.
A big thank you to the 11 0rganisations, individuals and Ponteland 1st Scouts for all their hard work earlier in the year.
Moving on what comes next:
The community partnership has successfully secured grant funding for our next project on the ‘Old Railway Line’
As more people are using the Bridleway since the previous work has been completed, we would like to announce and remind you that the Community Partnership is now preparing to organise with the Countryside Officer the next stretch of the Bridleway “Old Railway Line” from Rotary Way and towards the airport.
The Community Partnership has been overwhelmed with the support from the residents and because of this enthusiasm have been busy planning the next activity for 4th November – weather permitting.
This will include pruning, planting about 100 trees and wild flowers. A local land owner has agreed to take on improving the path in a very wet area of the path and the Countryside Officer will organise the widening of the footpath and provide 3 perch benches. The Community Partnership have now the funding for the 3 educational pedestals, showing more railway heritage, local information on Prestwick Pit and the original air field, which would be installed at the end of the project.
We now need to get your support for this next piece of work all those wishing to be involved can register their interest by our website, on the contact page. www.pontelandcommunitypartnership.co.uk
Love Northumbria Award
Community Partnership’s Bridleway Project gets “Highly Commended” LOVE Northumberland Award, at an event hosted by TV presenter John Grundy and Awards presented by The Duchess of Northumberland at Alnwick Gardens.
The Ponteland Bridleway Project was nominated for “Best New Project” a project less than 1 year old that fits the Northumberland’s campaign:
“To promote improving the environment of the County and create a sense of joint ownership around LOVE Northumberland”.
Quote “We have done very well to be awarded “Highly Commended” in our category, with so many excellent entries across the county, very lucky to receive funding from the Community Chest and the support of the community getting involved during February and March this year truly a community event which will support Ponteland in the “Britain in Bloom” this year”.
Due to this success we are now planning to take on the next part of the “Old Railway Line” from Rotary Way to the Airport, starting in the autumn; we are particularly keen to encourage the health benefits and enjoyment of this local amenity.
Residents who would like to know more about the next project the “Old Railway Line” Register your interest at www.pontelandcommunitypartnership.co.uk
Bridleway Community Project started this Spring set to go on until Autumn
Stage 1 Tidy up and Tree Planting 25th February (click to enlarge)
Stage 2 Ponteland 1st Scouts more trees and wild flower planting 25th March
(click to enlarge)
So far this project, organised by the Ponteland Community Partnership was well supported by 50 residents and is set to go from strength to strength.
Ponteland Community Partnership (PCP) set up in 2003 has the aim to:
- Identify the things that really matter to people who live and work in Ponteland Civil Parish, with the expectation that this will improve the quality of life.
- Also to work with all interested and involved parties to develop acceptable ways of meeting these needs.
This project was selected from a short list as part of our local heritage, the Bridleway originally was the old railway track from the early 1900’s now used as a well treasured route for recreation, dog walkers, keeping fit joggers, cyclists whilst still retaining its rural surroundings.
Our aim was to improve this well used community facility by tidying up this middle stretch of the Bridleway. This will allow the pathway to be given a narrow skim along the surface and hardcore, if required to be reinstated. This can only be done once some hand pruning has been completed; then the shredding and scattering back along the sides of the path. Due to the bird nesting season we have been restricted to when this activity could take place and we aim to complete this part of the project in the early summer 2017. By then we intend to install 2 display pedestals along the route.
No one anticipated this would be so well supported by a cross section of the community and what started as just wanting a handful of people to give up a couple of hours turned into a project with a mind of its own.
There are 7 stages to this project:
- The preparation of the Bridleway, middle section completed by community volunteers
- Planting of 50 trees, supplied by NCC work completed by community volunteers
- Clearing away refuse and shredding branches, NCC and Town Council
- Planting and adopting additional 25 trees, supplied by NCC work completed by Ponteland Scouts
- Reinstating appropriate wild flowers donated by a member of the Friends of the Park
- Skimming path sides and adding hard core where necessary, NCC and Town Council
- On completion the installation of display pedestal showing the heritage of the old railway line, wildlife and habitat, supplied by the Ponteland Community Partnership
Thanks must be given to the Area Countryside Officer Tim Fish NCC for all his support to the project supplying 75 trees, the equipment required at the events and arranging the work after the volunteers has completed their tasks.
Amongst the residents, on the 25th February, were members of the Foot Path Users Group, Ponteland Wildlife Group, Friend’s of the Park, Greenbelt Group, Civic Society, Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, Ponteland 1st Scouts and the Community Partnership.
The remainder 25 trees have been planted and adopted by Ponteland 1st Scouts and our Youth Ambassador at the end of March. Each scout will be responsible for their own tree. Hopefully by then all the grant funding should have been acquired for 2 individually designed oak pedestals to be placed along the Bridleway route, the displays will bring together the heritage of the old railway line, wildlife and habitat.
Now, Ponteland Town Council want this ongoing project to be part of the “Britain in Bloom” portfolio, this is all thanks to Ponteland residents – Thank you Ponteland.
The “Britain in Bloom” judges will be paying attention to community led involvement and projects such as this one, where volunteers (some representing 8 local organisations) work with Town Councils and the County Council to achieve benefits for the wider community. I understand that judging will happen sometime in April (for Northumbria in Bloom) and around June this year ( for Britain in Bloom), with this in mind I would like to ask for more volunteers to be involved in a tidy up exercise prior to the judge’s visits.
Keep in touch dates to be arranged www.pontelandcommunitypartnership.co.uk
As this project has been so successful, the Ponteland Community Partnership will be considering another event , late summer, for the last section of the Bridleway from Rotary Way to the Airport, as a way of encouraging more residents to use and enjoy this facility.