Local community partnerships are eligible to bid to Natural England, which administers the £2million grant scheme on behalf of Defra. Bids will be considered for schemes that provide:
• Improvements to existing PRoW that encourage use by a wider range of people with different needs (e.g. improved accessibility for wheelchairs and pushchairs, benches for elderly);
• Improvements to the network to increase the opportunity for access on foot, cycle or horse and to widen the appeal to visitors and residents;
• Promotion of the improved network to encourage more use and better support for local services such as shops, pubs, hotels, bed and breakfasts, attractins and cycle and equestrian businesses;
• Better integration with public transport services and links to popular destinations.
Environment Minister Richard Benyon said: "New paths into the countryside will give more people greater opportunities to enjoy nature and discover hidden treasures. They will breathe new life into rural areas and help local businesses by bringing in more visitors."
Natural England's Access Director, Liz Newton said "The Paths for Communities scheme is a great opportunity to help communities increase the extent and accessibility of their local paths network. We are delighted to be awarding grants to these three outstanding projects and it's terrific to see local groups taking action for local access."
Community organisations considering applying for a P4C grant are encouraged to email Natural England at P4C@naturalengland.org.uk