A lost footpath near the John Smith’s Stadium has been re-discovered, bringing a small piece of hidden Huddersfield back to life.
The footpath between Bradley Mills Road and Kilner Bank had been become wild and overgrown and lay hidden for about 15 years.
That was until Kirklees Council environment ranger Lucy Smith spotted what looked like an entrance in the undergrowth and started to investigate.
Now the footpath has been opened up again, sparking calls for residents to help Kirklees Council uncover others that may have been neglected.
Lucy said: “I was on my normal rounds one day and spotted what looked like the entrance to something hidden among the brambles, shrubs and undergrowth.
“I asked some of the locals about it and they told me that there was a path underneath it all but it had not seen the light of day for years.
“As rangers, we can self-refer a job that we notice on our rounds, rather than waiting for a member of public to bring it to our attention or it come up on schedule.
“I reported it and got approval for my fellow ranger Rebecca Hoyle to help me to clear it. I’m personally delighted with the outcome. We had no idea just what lay under it all and to have it back in use is just great.
“It’s like bringing a bit of Huddersfield’s history back to life as it’s clearly a very old footpath.”
It took Lucy and Rebecca two full days to cut back the brambles, shrubs and undergrowth before removing about half a ton of soil to grub out the concrete steps on the 250ft-long path.
Kirklees Council’s team of environment rangers have over 1,000 miles of recorded Public Rights of Way to maintain which include footpaths, bridleways and byways.
Colin Parr, strategic director for environment and climate change at Kirklees Council, was full of praise for the initiative and hard work the two had shown in uncovering the footpath.
He said: “Lucy has already had people that live near the path tell her just how much difference it is making to them, as it is now far easier for them to access amenities at the bottom of Bradley Mills Road.
“The open footpath also provides easier access into the green spaces along Kilner Bank, which is helping people appreciate our environment and keep fit.
“Our rangers take a personal interest in the work they do and to see this lost bit of the town uncovered and in use is testimony to Lucy, Rebecca and the other rangers who work so hard to keep Kirklees clean and green.”
Kirklees Council recently made it possible for residents to look up footpaths, bridleways and byways on an interactive map on its website. The map allows residents to put in a postcode or address and find any paths in the area.
Mr Parr added: “We have nearly 1,900 public rights of way in the district, which our small team monitor and it’s a great help when residents tell us about them being blocked or overgrown.
“With our interactive map residents can go online and check if a route is recorded as a PRoW. The map is also useful when it comes to planning applications or if you are looking at buying property in the area. It is a great free resource and we encourage everyone to make use of it.”
To make use of the path finder visit Search for public rights of way | Kirklees Council
Anyone wishing to report overgrown paths or pavements can do so via the Kirklees Council website at Report overhanging vegetation and/or weeds | Kirklees Council