Greenway takes praise as one of the best in the country

Volunteer Bob Clark on the Padiham Greenway that has been described as the best maintained of its kind in the country.
Volunteer Bob Clark on the Padiham Greenway that has been described as the best maintained of its kind in the country.

Padiham Greenway is one of the best in England.

That was the verdict from the environmental charity Sustrans representative Mary Seaton who said during the Greenway's annual inspection that it was the best maintained of its kind in the UK.

The praise is reward for all the hard work and effort that volunteers with the Friends of Padiham Greenway have put into maintaining it and developing it.

The traffic free Greenway was created on the disused railway line that runs between Rosegrove and Padiham.

It has transformed an eyesore into a landscape feature that is regularly used by walkers, horse riders, joggers, cyclists and schoolchildren.

Volunteers and members of the Friends group hold regular litter picks and there has been extensive tree planting along the route as it changes and evolves to suit its environment.

The Greenway is no stranger to awards as in 2015 it won the prestigious national award for the "best transformation of land" from Sustrans.

And in 2011 it was given the Exemplary Initiative prize by the European Greenways Association.

The awards, run by Sustrans, highlights the very best projects from across the country that have helped to form the National Cycle Network since it was created by the charity 20 years ago.

The Padiham Greenway forms part of route 685 of the National Cycle Network.

Benches have been erected at strategic points along the Greenway and plans are on the cards for a memorial commemorating soldiers from Padiham who died in World War One.

Rosslyn Colderley, North West Regional Director for Sustrans, said: "The Padiham Greenway is an inspiring example of how investment in walking and cycling can transform both places and communities."