From early summer next year a new section of the Egrets Way network of shared paths will be available to people to walk and cycle to Lewes.
This path will run for nearly a kilometre from the existing path at Ham Lane, passing under the railway and continuing into Lewes Railway Land Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve and on to the Linklater Pavilion close to the town centre.
The funding for this project comprises a £75,000 LEADER grant from the Rural Development Programme for England, £78,000 from the South Downs National Park Authority and £23,000 from S106 money allocated to Lewes Town Council.
A further £20,000 comes from the Community Infrastructure Levy and donations from the Joe Holden Trust and the Egrets Way Project Trust.
The delivery of this new route will be jointly managed by a project team made up of representatives from the SDNPA, Sustrans and the Egrets Way Project Trustees.
With planning permission for the new section of trail already secured, construction work will begin early in the New Year. An existing path, which runs from the Linklater Pavilion through the nature reserve, is to be widened and connected to the new section of path to be built from Ham Lane.
When completed the Egrets Way will form a network of multi-user paths running from Lewes to Newhaven and connecting the villages in between.
Nearly half of the planned network has been built and is in use, with sections of pathway running between Lewes and Kingston, Southease and Rodmell, and Southease and Piddinghoe.
More information is available on the new Egrets Way website www.egretsway.org.uk
Alister Linton-Crook, Cycling Project Officer for the South Downs National Park and a member of the Egrets Way Project Steering Committee, said: “We’re excited to get started on the next section of the Egrets Way – getting us a step closer to our ambitions for safe and traffic-free access between the towns and villages of the Lower Ouse Valley for walkers and cyclists.
Neville Harrison, Chair of the Egrets Way Project Trustees, said: “We always knew that creating the Egrets Way would take time, with sections being built as funding opportunities arose and landowner agreements were secured, so it is wonderful to put into place another piece of the jigsaw.”
He expressed his gratitude, saying: “We are very grateful to all of our funders and landowners without whose support the realisation of the Egrets Way would not be possible.”
The LEADER scheme is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.