The Southern Windermere Trail will now be known as the West Windermere Way as the eventual aim of the route is to create a mainly off-road route along the western shore of Windermere between Newby Bridge and the Ferry line. This will then link to the existing Windermere West Shore Way between Ferry House and Wray Castle.
The new route will follow the lakeshore in some areas, but will also head away from the lake to key visitor attractions. Some of the route already exists as public footpaths. This project will include building new sections as well as upgrading some existing paths.
We're leading the project, working closely with landowners, stakeholders and local parish councils. The work is being funded from the European Structural and Investment Funds and the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership.
We will be building the path using locally sourced stone to create a hard crushed stone surface, to make it as accessible as possible. It will be between 2 and 3 m wide with grass verges on each side where possible. It will have fencing on one or both sides as needed.
We are planning to build a new bridge over the railway, a raised boardwalk over areas that get very wet, and new embankments. We'll be putting in waymarkers and information signs to help people follow the route and learn about the local areas they are passing.
We plan to make the whole route a public right of way, with a few sections having permitted agreements.
An interpretation brief has been written for potential Design Consultants. The route will be promoted on the ground with fingerposts, and a specific waymarker. The interpretation brief has been written to design a specific waymarker that will be used to promote the route, in addition to onsite interpretation panels that will be installed at five locations along the route.
The deadline for this work will be the end of June 2023 to link with the whole route being open and useable for the summer.
We're working on the route in sections. Each section needs to be looked at carefully to see if we need to make any changes to the planned route to help look after wildlife, like roosting bats, or to be considerate to neighbouring houses. We do this by putting each section through a planning application, so the route may change a little in some places from our original plans.
The contractors have been making great progress on this section of the route since commencing work in July 2022. They have installed two sections of raised boardwalk, a new bridge over the railway and surfaced this section of route and installed a small section of fencing at the northern end of the route. This section of the route will be completed by the end of January 2023.
Contractors started work on this section in October and have been making good progress installing a new section of surfaced path at the YMCA end of the route. A bridge and new ramp still need to be installed on this section and surfacing works need to be completed through the fields at Finsthwaite.
This project is also part of the Optimising Connectivity programme, a partnership approach to improving sustainable transport links and economic growth in the local area.
This project is partly funded by: