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Stroud valleys cycleway being transformed thanks to 8,000 used car tyres

Recycled tyres are being used to transform a popular Gloucestershire pathway used by cyclists, walkers and horse riders.

Gloucestershire County Council, Stroud District Council are collaborating on a scheme led by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, to transform the Nailsworth to Stroud Cycleway.

A 1.2 km section of the cycleway between Nailsworth and South Woodchester is heavily worn and no longer fit for purpose and the replaced surface will involve the use of more than 8,000 used tyres.

The councils and Wildlift Trust have tapped into funding from the European Regional Development Fund to carry out biodiversity improvements on the path, which runs parallel to the Bath Road.

The work, which started a month ago is expected to run for another month, is using a sustainable paving surface called Flexipave.

Flexible and able to absorb water, Flexipave is made from ground rubber that has come car tyres, with 8,235 used for the current work.

The rubber is combined with stone and a binding substance to create a sustainable surfaced path.

Rigorous environmental testing has been carried out on this product to ensure that no pollutants can leak from it, even under extreme pressure.

Alongside the surfacing work, the Wildlife Trust will be carrying out habitat improvement works over the next two years to create glades, ponds and to promote plant growth along the route.

Grove Sykes, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust's wild towns project officer, said: "This multi-use path provides a great route for people to pass between Stonehouse, Nailsworth and Stroud.

"But not just that; it's a lovely green space which we will be enhancing to allow wildlife to flourish and make this scenic route even more picturesque and valuable for wildlife."

Councillor Vernon Smith, Gloucestershire County Council's cabinet member for highways and public rights of way, said: "This is a fantastic project and I am delighted we are working with our partners, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and Stroud District Council, to create it.

"It will improve a popular route with a variety of uses including cycling, walking and horse riding and it's great to see recycled materials being used so innovatively."

Cllr Simon Pickering, chair of Stroud District Council's environment committee, said: "This is great partnership work involving councils and charities to upgrade this vital part of the cycle network.

"Resurfacing will make it easier and safer for everyone to cycle rather than drive, improving mental health, reducing obesity and addressing climate change."

Cllr Steve Robinson, local councillor for Nailsworth, said: "This work will create a much improved facility that I'm sure will prove to be very popular.

"I hope it will encourage people to leave their cars at home and explore this beautiful area."

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