Open - the tranquil lane ‘off-roaders ruined’

RESTORED: The formerly-rutted green lane

BEFORE: Parish council chairman David Wall and Les Bailey

First published in Worcester

FROM muddy hell to muddy marvellous – a country lane is back to its best, months after councillors said it had been wrecked by off-road drivers.

The green lane off Norchard Lane in Peopleton, near Pershore, has been given a new lease of life – and a large dose of hardcore and gravel – courtesy of Worcestershire County Council and taxpayers’ cash.

We reported in December how councillors were signalling the temporary closure of the lane, which leads to B4082 near Seaford, after it was left deeply rutted and water-logged following months of hard use by off-road traffic.

Members of the 4x4 driving community got in touch with the paper saying the majority of drivers were sensible enough to let green lanes recover when they reached such a state, while others said tractors had played a part cutting up the lane.

Whoever the culprits were, the lane was all but impassable to walkers, cyclists and horse-riders who had up until then been using the popular countryside track, which offers views both to Bredon Hill and the Malverns.

Following requests from the parish council and county councillor Rob Adams, who set aside £2,000 of his divisional fund towards the repairs, the lane is almost fit for use again.

A foot of hardcore was laid, ditching dug out and a soil bund created to aid drainage and appearance. Fiona Argyle, county countryside officer, said work had started on March 19.

“We dug out all the wet material, regraded the track with hardcore and then created the bunding," she said.

"Part of the track is still soil as I wanted to maintain the rural features of the track. It should last up to 20 years.”

Councillor Adams said he was “delighted” with the results. David Wall, parish council chairman, thanked the council and Councillor Adams for their work.

“Horse-riders, dog-walkers, ramblers and families will be able to once again enjoy this important amenity of outstanding countryside,” he said.

“Local farmers will also be able to again use the lane to get into fields between Peopleton and Pinvin without taking alternative routes miles out of their way.”

The lane will fully reopen in the summer.

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