Hampshire’s Meon Valley Trail Re-Opened
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Hampshire’s Meon Valley Trail – which stretches 10 miles from West Meon to Wickham – is now re-opened following improvement works.
This will be good news for the hundreds of thousands of people who enjoy the area, seen as a gateway to the beautiful South Downs National Park.
Suggestions from the public and the horse riding community as to how the trail could be further improved means that a decision has been taken to contract additional work on defined stretches of the Trail, at the request of The British Horse Society to make it even better.
Culture and Recreation boss Andrew Gibson has been out to ‘test’ the route several times: ”I am extremely pleased to say that the improvements to date have been completed as planned and the Meon Valley Trail is now being enjoyed by a wide spectrum of people.”
Hampshire’s Meon Valley Trail Re-Opened – New Surface
Andrew says that people should now have more confidence in the route particularly after wet weather: “Following the improvement works, the Trail now has a level, firm surface which is free from mud. Access onto the Trail has also been improved with the result that many more people can enjoy the Trail with confidence.
“I have received letters of support from local people and organisations who believe that this project has significantly improved the condition of the Meon Valley Trail for all users.”
The above picture shows what the Trail used to look like in 2014 – mud everywhere. Andrew highlights the comments from the mother of a disabled son who needs wheelchair access as a good example: “Today, with my son, a wheelchair user, we took to the trail. We have to say how lovely it was to escape into the countryside and find a walk so accessible for my son. He loves to take photographs of so many things. A lovely new experience. So often he is confined to towns and shopping areas. So thank you – well done and we are looking forward to investigating more of the trail.”
Andrew says the British Horse Society’s Director of Access has visited the Trail and has expressed overall support for the works and improvements made. He made some recommendations which could further improve the route for the benefit of equestrian users: “In light of this we will be enhancing the surface north of Cutts Arch by adding some additional stone quarry dust. The main objective for this is to help the surface bed in more quickly.”
The completed works also comes with new signage and an opportunity to learn more about its history and some of the local attractions and amenities.
You can follow developments on Twitter @theMVT