A CIRCULAR walking route near Haltwhistle has been reconnected by Hexham Ramblers.

Wooden steps on the right of way near Oaky Knowe Farm had become overgrown and impassable.

The Ramblers' footpath maintenance team cleared the steps completely and restored full access to the footpath.

"The overgrowth on this right of way is typical of many footpaths in Tynedale at the moment," said John Rookes of Hexham Ramblers.

"The Covid pandemic has led to rights of way being neglected as local council budgets are stretched ever more thinly.

"Ramblers' volunteers play a vital role in keeping paths open and accessible to all."

Footpath maintenance is carried out by a dedicated team of volunteers who liaise closely with Northumberland County Council's local countryside officers.

The team work all over Tynedale, clearing overgrowth and replacing worn or missing footpath signs. They also report broken stiles and gates to the council.

Hexham Ramblers is part of The Ramblers, a charity dedicated to removing barriers so that everyone can enjoy walking in green spaces, and to preserving and improving hundreds of thousands of miles of well-loved paths, tracks and trails across England, Scotland, and Wales.