Footpath surface improvements connecting Hartford blue bridge to Saxons Lane and further on towards Hunt’s Locks Park will begin this week (w/c 19th April).
In addition to new and resurfaced pathways, the team working on the project will be clearing overhanging tree branches and carrying out selective removal of scrub and tree vegetation on the main path.
This will improve sight lines along the route as well as opening up views to the pond within the Marshall’s Arm Local Nature Reserve and entrance at Saxons Lane.
Along the route, repairs will also be carried out to the existing boardwalk platform and other outdoor furniture in Marshall’s Arm. New seating, information panels and signage will be added at key locations too.
Director of Environment & Communities at Cheshire West and Chester Council, Maria Byrne, said: “The Council has carried out an ecological site inspection prior to the work starting, to ensure that there are no negative impacts to the ecology and biodiversity of the River Weaver corridor and Marshall’s Arm Local Nature Reserve. All vegetation clearance works will also be thoroughly checked for nesting birds and any bat roosts to ensure that they are not disturbed during the development of the new and refurbished footpath.
“This worthwhile project will significantly enhance pedestrian access and promote sustainable transport connections to Northwich town centre, reflecting the Council’s ambition to tackle the climate emergency by becoming a carbon neutral borough by 2045.”
The project is being carried out by Cheshire West and Chester Council along with Canal and River Trust and other interested parties such as Friends of Marshall’s Arm Local Nature Reserve.
Rebecca Mason, Enterprise Manager at Canal & River Trust, said: “The River Weaver Navigation and the Marshall’s Arm Local Nature Reserve are wonderful havens for enjoying wildlife and for walking, cycling and angling. Being by water is great for boosting your mental health, so it’s fantastic that the Council is improving the waterside footpath. Hundreds of residents from Hartford and beyond will now be able to enjoy the all-weather path and greater access to the beautiful river.”
Section 106 funding from nearby developments including Weaver Park, off School Lane and Hartford campus has made this project possible. Work is due to be completed by mid-July.
Sections of the footpath will be closed to the public at intermittent times whilst the work is being carried out, however this will be managed to minimise public inconvenience.