Soldiers clear way for path users

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Junior soldiers invaded Wetherby last weekend to clear the way for cyclists and walkers.

Users of the 2.25-mile long cycle path from Wetherby to Walshford, which was created 15 years ago, have had to battle their way through rubbish and overgrown vegetation.

“Right in the middle of Volunteer Week, 16 Platoon from the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, came over to Walshford to help volunteers from around the locality to litter pick, clear and widen the cycle path from Walshford for Wetherby,” said volunteer Caroline Green of Wetherby U3A. 

“Between us all we managed to litter pick and clear about a mile of the route, leaving another mile to do later.” 

Tools for the task were delivered to Walshford by North Yorkshire County Council and litter pickers and bin bags by Harrogate Borough Council. The filled rubbish bags were collected later.

“The enterprise involved volunteers from the community and various groups including Wetherby Bike Trails, Sustrans and U3A members, with ages ranging from three to 73 years of age,” added Caroline.

“We also had support from two local householders along the route, kindly supplying chilled drinks and snacks to the thirsty troops.”

The nearby Bridge Hotel at Walshford catered for the hungry troups who were doing work for their Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

“It was a real community effort that has restored a good part of the original route to its former glory,” added Caroline.

The cycle path, which also caters for horse riders and walkers, was originally installed when the new A1 was built and the old A1 was turned into the A168.