With the help of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), over a mile and a half of new bridleway is now being constructed along the edge of Longmoor Ranges, providing a safe, off-road route for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders. This forms a key part of the final section of the Shipwrights Way, from Whitehill & Bordon via Greatham to Liss, and is expected to open in August.
The primary use of the Longmoor Ranges is for military training. Despite the departure of the army barracks from Whitehill & Bordon, this use is increasing due to a combination of troops returning to the UK and relocation of vehicle training to Longmoor. Byelaws permit access to the ranges on foot when training is not taking place but do not permit access by cycle or horse. There are very few rights of way in the wider area.
Claire Hughes, Head of Communications and Community at EHDC said: “This route will be the only off-road access for cyclists and horse-riders leading south from Whitehill & Bordon into the South Downs National Park. We hope that local people will use the Shipwrights Way to explore and enjoy the countryside and that rural pubs, shops and tourism businesses will benefit.”
The Shipwrights Way is a new 50-mile long distance path for walkers, cyclists and – where possible – horse-riders, linking the towns and villages of east Hampshire to the beautiful countryside on their doorstep. It runs from Alice Holt Forest southwards over the South Downs and all the way to the sea, finishing at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
The project is a partnership between East Hampshire District Council, Hampshire County Council, South Downs National Park Authority and the Forestry Commission. Funding for this section has come from the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, the MoD and developer contributions.
To find out more and a map of the new route, go to www.shipwrights.org.uk