A popular walking and cycling route through the Ashton Court Estate has been officially opened – two years after it was completed.
Covid restrictions delayed a formal opening by the Lord Lieutenant of Somerset Annie Maw and the Lord Lieutenant of Bristol Peaches Golding until now.
The one-kilometre cycle route through Ashton Court and the connection to the Festival Way from Long Ashton to Bristol makes it possible for people to walk or cycle into Bristol from Nailsea and Long Ashton without having to take in any main roads.
The route connects the gate to Ashton Court near the Park and Ride with the UWE site at Kennel Lodge Road, avoiding the busy and hilly Ashton Court Estate road up to the house.
The charitable organisation Greenways and Cycleroutes delivered the £63,000 scheme with input from North Somerset Council.
A team of volunteers undertook vegetation clearance to open up views of the historic landscape, tree protection, fence construction, tree and hedge planting and ecological works.
The route was constructed by local contractors Safety Green Ltd, with funding from Veolia Environmental Trust, Sustrans and North Somerset Council, and support from Historic England and from UWE and Bristol City Council who own the land.
North Somerset Council and Sustrans have since added to the project with a signal controlled Toucan crossing across Clarken Coombe which was completed last year. The crossing provides a safe place for all path users to cross the busy B3128.
The Ashton Court Greenway is another example of our commitment to improve cycling facilities in North Somerset.
Greenways and Cycleroutes continue to be a valuable partner, helping us to deliver well used cycle schemes such as this one and Brean Down Way from Uphill to Brean.
John Grimshaw, founder and engineer of Greenways and Cycleroutes, said:
Humphry Repton designed Ashton Park 200 years ago. We know the path would have pleased him.
It has been a privilege to work in such a landscape and to create a path which is already so much appreciated. Watching people enjoying the route is our reward for five years’ negotiation.