A new riverside walk on the outskirts of Haverfordwest has received positive feedback from residents and visitors to the County town.
Over the last year, extensive works have taken place to create a new footpath on each side of the Western Cleddau, at the Old Mill Grounds and the Bridge Meadow.
Now those paths have been linked up by a new footbridge, resulting in an attractive 2km circular walk through native woodland and wetland habitats, following the river corridor.
The route is part of the ‘Cleddau Reaches’ green infrastructure project which also includes a new disabled-friendly river access for kayakers and a range of biodiversity enhancements in the Old Mill Grounds.
It has already become a popular destination, says Sara Morris from Pembrokeshire County Council which has led on the scheme with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Haverfordwest Town Council.
“We’ve had really positive comments from the public and are delighted that so many people are enjoying this natural resource,” said Sara, Development Plans and Conservation Manager.
“Together with our partners we are working hard to create more opportunities for people to access the river and the natural environment in Haverfordwest, and the Cleddau Reaches walk is a key element of that scheme.
“The lockdown experience really highlighted the importance of green infrastructure to local communities and we are aiming to further build on this in the future.”
The circular route can be accessed from the Old Mill Grounds at Crowhill or Bridge Meadow and the paths and bridge are suitable for those with mobility problems, with further works to benefit access and way finding panels planned.
The footbridge has been funded by NRW, Haverfordwest Town Council, Welsh Government, Bridge Meadow Trust (Enhancing Pembrokeshire grant) and PCC.
A local landowner generously permitted the placement of the bridge on his land on the eastern side of the river and supported the creation of a right of way in this area.
Haverfordwest County Councillor Alison Tudor, whose ward includes the footbridge and part of the walk, welcomed the development, saying:
“I am really pleased that the bridge at Cleddau Reaches has been constructed as it will encourage people to exercise and aid their health and well-being.”
Chris Lawrence from NRW said the Western Cleddau is one of the most wildlife-rich rivers in Wales.
“Natural Resources Wales have been delighted to support this green infrastructure project, of which this bridge is a part and in doing so helping to make the river more accessible to the people of Haverfordwest,” he said.
Cllr Chris Thomas, representing Haverfordwest Town Council and the Bridge Meadow Trust, added:
“This is the first step in linking up all the assets of our town and creating a network to support the health and wellbeing of the residents and visitors.”
Cleddau Reaches is a green infrastructure scheme run by PCC and involving a range of organisations including NRW, Haverfordwest Town Council, Bridge Meadow Trust, Hywel Dda Health Board, Haverfordwest Kayak Club, Pembrokeshire College, Bluestone Resort and the Landfill Communities Tax.
The new community development manager at the nearby Haverfordwest County AFC, Wyndham Williams, also welcomed the project. “I am delighted to see this fantastic pathway linking the town and community to the green space and woodland we have to our disposal to support people’s well-being and mental health,” he said.