A PROJECT to revitalise a riverside path network is forging ahead with the installation of a bridge.

The Malton and Norton Area Partnership (MNAP) is working to improve improve the paths between Orchard Fields and The Gannock, through Lady Spring Wood, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

After a winter of poor weather and bad ground conditions, the work is to continue with installation of the long-awaited bridge over The Cut at The Gannock.

Fiona Croft, of the Riverside Group, said: “The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) York began work on the bridge last week. The bridge will reconnect the permissive footpaths from The Gannock up to the Malton and Norton Rugby Club – a popular circular walking route.

“This work expected to take up to two weeks, but users should be aware that the Internal Drainage Board (IDB) is continuing with their schedule of ditch clearance in The Gannock and so this area may be closed while the machinery is in operation.”

Fiona said the silt removed from The Cut was being spread on the field by IDB, with the authority of the landowner, and so The Gannock would remain muddy for some time.

“The IDB completed the clearing of The Cut in Lady Spring Wood where the riverside boardwalk used to be earlier in February,” she said.

“The area is still very muddy and a compacted earth path to replace the riverside boardwalk is yet to be completed therefore barriers remain in place for users’ safety.”

Fiona said MNAP’s goals for the project were to enhance, repair and refresh permissive pathways in Lady Spring Wood with new boardwalk in the springs area and by the river, replacing a bridge across The Cut on the Gannock Field, clearing invasive species and generating improved facilities for access for all.

The project is being funded by grants from Yorventure and Ryedale District Council S106 funds, as well as a well-supported crowdfunding campaign.

Fiona said: “MNAP expect to soon be able to release dates for the start of work to remove and replace the springs-side boardwalk in Lady Spring Wood at the back of the wood, as opposed to the riverside boardwalk that has already been removed.”

The MNAP Riverside Group invites comments, suggestions, offers of sponsorship and in-kind support.

For more information, email Sarah Oswald, executive member of MNAP, at sarah@theauthenticspark.com or phone 07989 656690.