Work has begun on research to create a unique walking trail linked to the Heart of Wales Line.
The Heart of Wales line runs 120 miles between Shrewsbury and Swansea, travelling through beautiful and unspoilt scenery. It is much loved by the country goer and is used by walkers to gain access to the many of the remote halts on the line and existing walks that include Offa’s Dyke Path and Glyndŵr’s Way.
The trail study is being paid for by Arriva Trains Wales with the support of the Heart of Wales Line Enterprise Network and the Heart of Wales Line Travellers’ Association.
Paul Salveson, Arriva said “We would like to attract greater numbers to the line to enjoy the appeal of a rail based ramble and to experience the outdoor beauty of this part of Wales and Shropshire. We are not aware of any other long distance walks which weave between stations of an operative rail line– the Heart of Wales Line, as one of the most scenic in Britain, presents the ideal opportunity to realise this concept. It will give a particular appeal to walkers – traversing the Heart of Wales and using the train regularly to access one, two or three day segments of the walk.”
The study is being carried out by Professor Les Lumsdon and Alison Caffyn on behalf of the Heart of Wales Line Enterprise Network.
Success depends on devising a trail which is appealing to people and practical to maintain. There are many established walks that can be incorporated into the route but establishing a good relationship with local landowners and councils will be very important. The unique character of the trail has the potential to place the Heart of Wales line and this part of Wales as a major destination for recreational walking.
Rachel Francis, media spokesperson for the Heart of Wales Line Enterprise Network said “This is the beginning of a very exciting project. We are very grateful to Arriva Trains Wales for their generous support. Part of the plan is to identify route sections which would incorporate everything from walks for health and wheelchair access, to sections that would challenge experienced walkers. The Heart of Wales Line is a wonderful asset to this area and can benefit everyone.”