A NEW lease of life for public pathways in Bidford looks set to take place after parish councillors agreed to join a national incentive.

The Parish Paths Partnership Scheme (P3) is a national incentive run at a county level, which involves a partnership between county councils and parish councils.

At a meeting on Monday, Bidford Parish Council agreed to join the scheme, which will help to improve the state of parish footpaths and to raise the awareness of their existence.

After the meeting parish clerk Elisabeth Uggerloese said: "In order to do this we are looking for volunteers to run a group, to include a footpaths co-ordinator, to improve the access to the countryside and provide a focus for the community involvement. The method allows the county council to draw upon valuable knowledge, contacts and expertise in the community.

Local landowners and farmers also benefit from the scheme as the rights of way on their land will be well maintained, protecting their livelihood from unintentional trespass by walkers who will be able to confidently explore the local area without fear of straying from designated routes. They will be clearly marked and maintained by the local volunteer group."

She said under the scheme each parish would be allocated a grant by the county council for the improvement and promotion of paths.

The grant, which is between £50 to £75 per mile of footpath, can be used to pay for tools and equipment or to employ contractors if needed.

Once the volunteer group is set up, Warwickshire County Council will be invited to send a representative to give advice and further information.

They will also provide posters and guidelines on the development of display boards, leaflets and booklets.

Anyone who would like to be a volunteer should ring the parish council on 01789 778653.