A GROUP of Coleford residents shook off some post-Christmas lethargy with a day of hard labour on Sunday (January 7) as works continued to improve safety on a key town footpath and cycleway.

Nine volunteers with local group Coleford Welcomes Walkers (CWW) got to work planting hundreds of defensive shrubs, as recommended by Gloucestershire Police, along recently installed fencing on the Coleford to Milkwall Cycle Track.

The project is a collaboration between CWW and the Forest of Dean Community Safety Partnership, which includes the police and the Forest Council, to improve safety on the walking and cycling route for women and girls.

The works have included installing fencing, adding new defensive plants and cutting back an overhanging canopy to improve visibility on the track. 

The project is being funded by a grant secured from the Forest of Dean Community Safety Partnership last year.

A post on the CWW Facebook page said: “A cracking effort by nine local residents who came to aid us with the planting today at the Coleford end of the Milkwall to Coleford Cycle track. 

“This is part of our Community Safety Project aimed at aiding in reducing violence against women and girls.

“You all did an amazing job - thank you. There’s a few more to go in so watch out for another date.”

Works on the track began earlier this year as part of national volunteering day The Big Help Out. 

Local volunteers joined CWW in clearing the area around the Coleford entrance to the track and re-installing part of the fence line. 

Volunteers worked throughout the year to also paint the five-bar gate and the dog bins, keeping the track clear of litter, and cutting back vegetation. 

In applying for the grant, CWW wanted to contribute to aiding the area to make it safer for women and girls, thereby encouraging them to get out and walk along the popular and well used track.

For more information about the group’s activities, including details of upcoming volunteer days, search Coleford Welcomes Walkers on Facebook.