TV presenter Nick Owen helps officially open new walking route

A new walking path through a popular conservation area has been officially opened to the public.

TV presenter Nick Owen helped to officially open the new footpath
TV presenter Nick Owen helped to officially open the new footpath

BBC Midlands Today presenter Nick Owen was on hand to officially open a new waymarked walking route from Kinver Edge Rock Houses to the village centre, to help support local traders following the pandemic.

The Kinver Eco Collective has created the new route from Kinver Edge in partnership with Kinver Parish Council to encourage visitors to the Rock Houses to venture into the village and enjoy the many independent businesses.

The new waymarkers have been designed by Freya James a pupil from local school, Brindley Heath Academy, as part of a competition to create a design that would celebrate the fantastic countryside and rich heritage of the village.

Freya was joined by other commended students across the school to officially walk the new route alongside Nick Owen, who himself is a resident of Kinver.

Phil Jones, chairman of the Kinver Eco Collective, said it was one of the many initiatives the group had been involved with since the first lockdown to help create a more sustainable future for the village.

He said: "Numbers to the National Trust’s Kinver Edge has increased significantly during the pandemic.

"We’re keen to harness the interest in the tourist attraction and wider area to help bring more visitors into the village to enjoy the great cafes, gift shops and amenities on offer from butchers to bakers.

"The National Trust is a natural partner for the Eco Collective and Kinver, and are keen to support the village.

"They’ve also been sharing their conservation skills with us to help promote greater biodiversity, through planting wildflower verges and creating new wildlife corridors to the neighbouring countryside."

Steve Anderson from Kinver Parish Council said: "We’re delighted to be working in partnership to help promote a better long-term future for the village and help the traders following what has been a very difficult time for everyone."

In normal times, more than 60,000 people visit the historic Rock Houses and Tearooms each year.

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