Official opening of new off-road route set to improve access to Cotgrave Country Park
Cyclists joined Nottinghamshire County Council’s leader and chairman today (Tuesday, 9 April) to celebrate the official opening of a new £250,000 greenway which will improve access and boost wildlife at Cotgrave Country Park.
The main part of the scheme has seen a new three-kilometre off-road route created linking Cotgrave Country Park with Radcliffe-on-Trent, Holme Pierrepont, the Grantham Canal path and the nearby Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust Skylarks reserve at Holme Pierrepont.
The greenway has been constructed on a disused mineral railway line which has been transformed and links up with the existing network of footpaths, cycle and bridleways in the area.
Bike-riding families cycled the route from start points at each end of the greenway – Hollygate Lane on the edge of the Country Park and Holme Lane on the edge of Radcliffe – meeting at a mid-point on the path just south of the Thornton’s Holt Camping Park where chairman, Councillor Sue Saddington cut a ribbon to declare the route officially open.
Nottinghamshire County Council Leader, Councillor Kay Cutts said: “Cotgrave Country Park, which we manage, is already a valuable asset for our county, but this route will make it more accessible to a greater number of people who enjoy the great Nottinghamshire outdoors, whether you are a keen walker, a cyclist or a horse rider.
“The improvements will make access easier, particularly for children on bicycles, and a new two-metre access ramp has also been constructed to provide better wheelchair users and buggies.
The scheme is bringing significant environmental benefits with it too, creating a continuous ‘green’ line through the local area.
The work also included maintenance work to the park land to provide a more pleasant green space where areas had previously become overgrown, but this has been done sensitively to protect and enhance the habitat for local wildlife, with work carefully timed to avoid the bird nesting season.
Habitats for local species of butterflies have been expanded along the route to help them thrive. Local volunteer groups will continue to monitor these habitats for species such as grizzled and dingy skippers and purple emperors.
Coun Cutts added: “This scheme is a great boost to recreation and leisure opportunities in the county and I hope these improvements will not only encourage more visitors from within Nottinghamshire, but also from outside the county, particularly as it is so close to the National Watersport Centre.
“We plan to establish further off-road links to the villages of Calverton and Bestwood using former mineral railway lines.
“Dedicated multi-user routes which are free from traffic are valued by everyone, but in particular families with small children”
Via East Midlands, the council-owned arm’s-length company which manages its highways network, designed and delivered the work on its behalf, appointing Nottinghamshire-based contractor, Alliance to create the greenway.
The overall project has been funded by Nottinghamshire County Council, with up to £128,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.
The attached plan shows the extent of the greenway which has been created.
Photo caption: Nottinghamshire County Council chairman, Councillor Sue Saddington with grandson, William; bike riders James and his mum, Victoria Kennington; with County Council Leader, Councillor Kay Cutts; pony rider, Samson Jones with mum Pollyanna and Penny Holmes at the official opening of Cotgrave greenway.