Community celebrates opening of new footpath


llanfair footpathPublished 09 June 2014


Pupils from Llanfair Primary School, representatives of Llanfair Community Council and local residents came together this week to celebrate the opening of a new footpath linking St Mary Church and The Herberts.


Since 2012 Llanfair Community Council has led the way in seeking and securing funding to achieve a permanent footpath link and councillors have worked together with members of the St Mary Church Residents Association to see the project come to fruition.


Jim Teague of the Community Council said: "It is lovely to see a community led project like this come to fruition. People have already said how much they enjoy using the path. I am absolutely delighted that a permanent, safe and attractive paved path through woodland now links these communities. It will have a very real impact on the everyday lives of local residents.”


Until recently the only pedestrian route between the two communities involved joining St Athan Road at its junction with the Rocky. This involved a potentially dangerous walk along the road until pedestrians could join the pavement on the opposite side. As a temporary measure residents had taken their own initiative and cleared an informal path through woodland alongside the road but this was far from ideal and in wet weather became quite treacherous.


The project is funded through the Rural Development Plan (RDP) for Wales 2007 – 2013 through the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development The new footpath has been established using a £6500 grant from Creative Rural Communities, the Vale Council led rural regeneration partnership, £5,000 of S106 funding and contributions from both the Llanfair Community Council and the St Mary Church Residents Association.


Strong support was also received from the Head Teacher of Llanfair Primary School, Diane Normansell, whose pupils use the footpath regularly. Mrs Normansell said: “The children already enjoy using the new path which makes their journey to school a lot safer. We now have a much more secure route up to the Church, the Spinney and other parts of the main village which we use to enhance our learning opportunities. Pupils will be making bird boxes for installation along the path so that this small stretch of woodland, which is already home to many birds and native flower species, will continue to attract wildlife and become an area that the whole community can enjoy.