Words below taken from National Highways website see here for full article.

Woodland at a Coventry nature reserve has been opened up to the community thanks to volunteers from the highways community who dug deep to improve access for all.

Workers from National Highways and its supply chain, that form the Midlands Collaborative Community, gave up their time to carry out improvements at Grays Wood Nature Reserve which will ‘bring the joy of nature to many people who simply couldn’t have it before’.

Pathways through the woodland, part of the Lake View Park which spans the River Sherbourne, were overgrown and often boggy preventing people accessing the site. The paths have now been cleared and gravel laid to tackle the mud.

There is also a clearing now, a firepit and a log circle, which has been surfaced and can be used for education activities, small community events and a base for running training courses by the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.

Delivery partner Carnell led the team of volunteers and supplied 32 tonnes of stone which was laid along 200m of pathway and the new firepit area.

The improvements carried out in Grays Wood will support the Sherbourne Valley Project, led by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, which aims to reconnect the people of Coventry with the River Sherbourne and the green spaces beside it.

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’s Cultural Heritage and Community Engagement Officer, Charlotte Ridpath, said:

“This new path has improved the access into a local woodland, that was previously unwelcoming and difficult to explore due to the uneven, very muddy paths. Places like Grays Wood can became off limits in the wet weather and yet connection with nature is vital for good health and quality of life.

“The new smoother, wider paths also now open up the woods for people who are unsteady on their feet and are better for wheeled access.

“The clearing is a space that can be used by community groups and provide a wider range of people with the chance to experience the woods close up. The impact the donation of this path will make cannot be underestimated. It will bring freedom and the joy of nature to many people who simply couldn’t have had it before.”

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