BBC Radio Shropshire visits UPW site

6th August 2015

The cleared footpath along the Halesfield 14.


On Tuesday 4 August, the Warwickshire and West Mercia CRC made it onto the airwaves. BBC Radio Shropshire visited the Unpaid Work (UPW) site in Telford where a team of workers have been restoring a four mile stretch of the Halesfield 14 footpath for several weeks. The works are almost complete and the transformation is amazing.


When works started a few weeks ago, the path was only two feet wide and overgrown from both sides with grass, nettles and tree branches. The work has revealed a paved footpath almost 5 feet wide and now it’s cleared, walkers, cyclists and horse riders will be able to enjoy the path once more.


Kate Tebby from BBC Radio Shropshire visited the site and spoke to both Ann Proctor and Alan Ball who supervise the work group.


Anne Proctor, Senior Probation Officer for the UPW sites across Telford said of the pathway, ‘Until very recently members of the public were unable to walk safely down here because of how overgrown it was. Now it’s been cleared, it looks nice, it looks safe and it is safe.’


Kate asked why the work was being openly advertised to the public on display boards next to the site. Ann commented, ‘It’s really important for us to be visible in the community so when members of the public walk along here, they can see the excellent work that offenders are doing in the community to make reparation for the offences that they’ve committed.’


The UPW work carried out by the WWM CRC is often in partnership with other organisations and alongside these bigger projects, there are also smaller projects that contribute to the immense variety of work carried out within the community.


Alan Ball, UPW supervisor said, ‘Most of the work we do is in partnership and this particular piece of work was done through a partnership with Telford and Wrekin Council. It’s great because the work being undertaken isn’t being taken away from anyone else. Without the UPW projects this clearance wouldn’t have happened.’


To hear the full segment, visit the BBC iPlayer website and listen to Eric Smith and Clare Ashford on BBC Radio Shropshire at 7:10am and 8:10am on Tuesday 4 August. The content will be available for 28 days.