Could you join Somerset’s growing team of adopt-a-path volunteers?

A growing scheme to help look after Somerset’s 3,800 miles of public footpaths and bridleways is looking for more volunteers.

Somerset County Council’s adopt-a-path scheme is open to anyone whether they are walkers, horse riders or cyclists, and any public right of way can be adopted.

Volunteers are simply asked to use their chosen path as often as they can and report any problems they come across. If they want to, they can also help with some light maintenance.  Paths can range from 50 metres to several miles long – or several paths can be combined to create a circular route.

So far more than 40 rights of way have been adopted by individuals and some parish groups have volunteered to look after all the paths in their local area.

Cllr David Fothergill, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Rights of Way, said: “I’d like to say a big thank you to all the individuals and groups who are already involved – they do a fantastic job helping us look after one of the largest rights of way networks in the country.

“It’s very simple to take part and we’re particularly keen to attract people who do not usually exercise or are recovering from health issues.

“Our public health colleagues tell us that just 20 minutes of exercise a day can have huge health benefits. This scheme can be a great motivator to get out and enjoy our beautiful county while also giving something back to your local community. Please get in touch if you’re interested in finding out more.”

Anyone taking on a path is also offered the loan of gloves, secateurs and hi-vis jackets so they can do even more to help maintain the paths by cutting back vegetation or brambles.

For more information about the adopt-a-path scheme, please call 0300 123 2224, email ROWVolunteers@somerset.gov.uk  or view the leaflet online at http://www.somerset.gov.uk/get-involved/volunteering/volunteer-with-the-public-rights-of-way-team/