FURTHER to Mr Conlan’s letter of August 19, I totally agree with him that these old railway lines need to be reopened, not just for cyclists and walkers, but horse riders too.

Avoiding the ever busier roads, these routes would make it safe for the public to use.

Surely ways round buildings and ploughed out sections could be negotiated with landowners.

The government has promised money for cycle access and here is the opportunity for Ryedale District Council to take advantage of these grants and get cracking and open up these old lines for multi-user access.

I am sure that motorists would improve and be much happier to see cyclists and horse riders safely off the roads. Everybody would benefit.

Bill Tait, Helmsley

Make it happen

A “PATH for Everyone” from Hovingham to Malton is an idea whose time has come.

Linking eight settlements, promoting fitness and tackling obesity, reducing transport emissions and congestion, providing a safe route to schools and encouraging sustainable tourism, it ticks the boxes.

Whether eight or 80 years old, riders of bicycles, mobility scooters, e-bikes, electric wheelchairs, as well as walkers, will be able to enjoy active travel to their destination, or just enjoy a trip out into the countryside.

Malton businesses are likely to benefit as going to its shops and facilities becomes a pleasure. Entering the town along a wide, even path which is free of motor traffic is an attractive prospect. Let’s make it happen.

Josephine Downs, Swinton

Blooming display

I WONDER how many of your readers have been as delighted as I have been by the fantastic variety of wild flowers that have been on display on our road side verges this summer. The stretch between Malton and Hovingham has been particularly beautiful. Just passing in the car I have seen cranesbills, yarrow, knapweed, ox-eye daisies, scabious, red and white campions, and various vetches to name but a few.

The UK has lost 97 per cent of its ancient meadowland since the 1930s and the half a million kilometres of rural road verges are now essential for maintaining the rich diversity of plant life upon which our bees, butterflies and birds depend.

These plants evolved alongside farming practises such as haymaking and rely on similar continued management, with cutting limited to once or twice a year in order to allow seeds to fully ripen and ensure continued new growth.

Roadside verges are home to 45 per cent of the UK’s total flora and contribute immensely to the beauty of our glorious Yorkshire countryside.

If any readers tend a verge and are interested in helping preserve our biodiversity, please visit the website plantlife.org and read their “The Good Verge Guide”. It explains how easy it is to “do your bit” to preserve this valuable resource and enhance our environment.

Heather Williams, Malton