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Updated 4th November 2011
Construction Opening
Report from The Chronicle, 24th September 1999

Millennium Path Project is Unveiled

Goostrey Village Green (known locally as the Bogbean) was full of life last Saturday morning as around 50 friends and supporters joined Goostrey Footpaths Group members at the official opening of the Footpaths Group's Millennium Project.

The aim of the Project had been to make the footpath between Mill Lane and Boothbed Lane, a major link between the two ends of the village, more accessible and pleasant for local people to use. In particular, the aim was to make it easier and safer for those who are no longer especially agile to enjoy walking both for the exercise and to enjoy the countryside. This was achieved by replacing stiles with gates and bridging a very muddy area between two fields by an impressive boardwalk.

Among those present at the opening with the Footpaths Group were the Mayor and Mayoress of Congleton Borough, Councillor Rab Parry and Mrs. Jenny Parry, Mr. Bill Owen, Borough Councillor, Mr. Alan Bowring of Cheshire County Council Public Rights of Way Unit, Goostrey Scouts, who provided able assistance, and representatives of Goostrey Residents' Association, Goostrey Parish Council and Goostrey Millennium Committee.

Everyone was offered a celebratory glass of wine before Mr. Bill Owen introduced the Mayor and welcomed everyone to the event. He explained that the Footpaths Group had been able to carry out the Project, firstly thanks to the co-operation of the farmers through whose fields the path goes and secondly thanks to funding by Manchester Airport Community Trust Fund with supporting finance from Shell UK and Cheshire County Council. He went on to thank the many people who had been involved in the Project and congratulated the Footpaths Group on their efforts, involving some 200 man hours of preparation, negotiation, paperwork and design and some 250 hours of actual construction work, all on a totally voluntary basis.

Following on from this, Councillor Rab Parry expressed his pleasure at being invited to attend the event and explained that he was actually wearing three hats on this occasion - Mayor, County Councillor and Trustee of the Manchester Airport Community Trust Fund.

The object of the event was, of course, to walk along the improved path so, after these preliminaries on the Bogbean, a large party set off down Mill Lane to reach the start of the path, where the first of the new gates had been installed. After crossing two fields the highlight of the improvements, the splendid boardwalk, was reached. Here the Mayor cut the traditional red ribbon with an impressive pair of ceremonial scissors provided by the Airport and also unveiled a plaque built into the boardwalk and marking both the occasion and the sponsors. After this excellent photo opportunity, the walk continued to Swanwick Hall Farm and out to Boothbed Lane, from where everyone made their way home. The Footpaths Group hopes that many people will now be able to enjoy a pleasant walk in the country without the need to maneuver across difficult stiles and knee-deep mud.