Presentation on theme: "Countryside Services Powys County Council Working together on our Rights of Way."— Presentation transcript:
Countryside Services Powys County Council Working together on our Rights of Way
Countryside Services The work of Countryside Services includes:- Public Rights of Way Access Land National & Recreational Trails Other promoted routes Definitive Map and Statement Enforcement Working with volunteers Common land Biodiversity Outdoor Recreation – parks and recreation
Countryside Services A few facts about our work... Powys has the largest public rights of way network in Wales, more than a quarter of the Welsh network. 8,056km of public rights of way (5,800 miles) Footpaths – 5,864km Bridleways – 2,598km Restricted byway – 507km BOAT – 219km 2000 square miles 579 square miles of Access Land in Powys. Over third all Access Land in Wales.
Countryside Access 2 National Trails – Offa’s Dyke Path and Glyndwr’s Way. 8 long-distance Recreational Trails. Other promoted routes including Powys on Horseback, Accessible Powys, Circular Trails etc. There are 3,927km of promoted routes. Powys published a Rights of Way Improvement Plan in 2007, this document sets out our policies and priorities to 2017.
Public Rights of Way Maintenance & Improvement 5 Local Area Officers – public rights of way, access land and recreational trails. 2 National Trail Officers. 1 Volunteer Co-Ordinator. On average, Countryside Services opens and maintains 277km of public rights of way per year.
Volunteering on Rights of Way Volunteer Co-Ordinator has been in post since 2001. Over the last 13 years, 160 volunteers have been involved with the Countryside Volunteer Programme. In the first 3 years the volunteers opened an average of 80km of public rights of way per year; installing stiles, gates, bridges, boardwalks and carrying out general path works. Since 2005 volunteers have built 150+ bridges and similar structures. These vary from 3m to 20m boardwalks and 3m to 13m footbridges as well as culverts and similar structures. The volunteers have repaired, cleaned and improved many other structures and installed many gates and way-mark posts etc. Last year, the volunteers created a new Accessible Community Garden in Newtown, with raised beds, bridges and a boardwalk over a pond.
Volunteering on Rights of Way The Volunteer Co-ordinator is trained to NEBOSH level in Health and Safety and has Manual Handling and Off-road driver training. Duty of care and safe systems of work is paramount. Over the years the volunteers have enjoyed a good deal of press coverage including front page of a number of newspapers such as Shropshire Star, Mid Wales Journal and County Times. We have also featured on ITV News when we floated a bridge kit across Clywedog Reservoir. We have engaged with educational establishments and supported students with work experience programmes. For six years, we were able to have an Assistant role, which was aimed at those in, or just leaving higher education.
Volunteering: The Future? Countryside Services are now starting to consult on a number of proposed new volunteer projects. 1.Offa’s Dyke Path Warden Scheme 2.Glyndwr’s Way Path Warden Scheme 3.Recreational Trails Path Warden Scheme 4.Rights of Way and Access Officer Special Volunteer Projects 5.Outdoor Recreation Volunteer Project
Offa’s Dyke & Glyndwr’s Way Path Warden Schemes These projects involve recruiting, training and enabling volunteers to take responsibility for sections of the Offa’s Dyke and Glyndwr’s Way National Trails. After being trained and supplied with the relevant tools and Personal Protective Equipment, the volunteers would be expected to walk their sections at least four times a year, carrying out minor clearance and improvement works as well as reporting any more major issues to the relevant National Trail Officer. This work would be unsupervised, however volunteers must work in pairs or groups so that no lone working is undertaken.
Recreational Trails Path Warden Scheme Due to budgetary pressures, the Recreational Trails Officer Post was made redundant. The Recreational Trails have now become the top priority for the Rights of Way and Access Officers. This proposed project involves recruiting, training and enabling volunteers to take responsibility for sections of the Recreational Trails. After being trained and supplied with the relevant tools and PPE, the volunteers would be expected to regularly walk their sections, carrying out minor clearance and improvement works as well as reporting any more major issues to the Area Officer. This work would be unsupervised, however volunteers must work in pairs or groups so that no lone working is undertaken.
Rights of Way and Access Officers Special Volunteer Projects As resources and budgets diminish it is proposed that the Area Officers utilise volunteers to a much greater degree. For 2014-15, each Area Officer will be expected to run one project with volunteers. The project can be on a Recreational Trail or the general public rights of way network. All work will be managed and supervised by the Area Officer, with support from the Volunteer Co-ordinator as and when required. This project is a pilot and will be reviewed in 12 months. The expectation is that Area Officers will work with volunteers to a greater degree in future years.
How Ramblers Cymru can help? Give Powys Countryside Services your feedback on these proposed schemes. Working with us to make these proposed schemes a success. Helping us to recruit volunteers by publicising these volunteering opportunities to members. These proposals are a starting point and they will be reviewed regularly. If schemes work well there may be the opportunity to give volunteers greater responsibilities in the future.
Web Presence and Social Media 750 followers on facebook 1,600+ followers on Twitter Information available online at www.powys.gov.uk/countryside www.powys.gov.uk/countryside For details on promoted routes go to www.exploremidwales.com