PEOPLE in Billinge are enjoying welly-free walks and greener school grounds thanks to a trio of environmental projects.
A new section of upgraded bridleway has been created between Billinge and Carr Mill Dam, and is already proving popular with walkers and cyclists alike.
Half of the funding for the scheme was secured from the local Landscape Fund by Billinge Chapel End Parish Council.
The other half was donated by the council.
Coun Dennis McDonnell, chair of the Parish Council, said: “This section of path has always been difficult to navigate especially during the wet winter months. The upgraded path has made a big difference and a lot more people are using it, from ramblers to people using it as a route to the pub.
“The path also provides an alternative route to Carr Mill Primary School and helps to avoid the main Carr Mill road if travelling on foot, bicycle or even horse.”
The Landscape Fund was launched by United Utilities to help invest in communities affected by the construction of the West-East Link Pipeline - which transports water from Prescot Reservoir to Woodgate Hill Reservoir in Bury.
Part of the work, which also includes a new bridleway access control and hedgerow planting, has been carried out by the local Chamber of Commerce.
Meanwhile, local schools are also becoming greener.
The Landscape Fund, managed by The Mersey Forest on behalf of the council, has contributed to additional tree planting at the nearby Nugent House School and a further project to improve the school grounds at Chapel End Primary School has recently been awarded funding.
Brian Tollitt, from United Utilities, said: “The West-East Link is a vital piece of engineering to allow us to move water around the North West to the areas that need it. Such major construction brought with it disruption and we recognised the impact on local communities.
“It’s great to give something back and help people in Billinge enjoy the local landscape.”