Higher Kinnerton Heritage Trail – an update by Cllr. Martin King
Last year the Community Council spent some time putting together a proposal for a heritage trail here in the village, the idea being a recreational walking trail which highlights the many historical and natural aspects of our community. Back in October we applied for funding for the project from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Sadly ours was only one of many such applications and, although we understand that the quality of our application was very good, we were unsuccessful in securing the funding we had hoped for.
As we move into 2021 the council have continued to explore ways of making this trail a reality. Although lottery funding is available for many projects it seems clear that the focus of that funding is not directly relevant to the scope of our project and we feel that another application would, realistically, again be unsuccessful. Consequently we have looked at alternatives and the one which seems most appropriate is to use our own council reserves to fund the project. This has a number of advantages for us in that it gives us complete control on the scope of the project and allows us to tackle it within our own time frame. One of our concerns was that, by applying for funding, we would have to alter the content to match that required by the funding organisation and we would be strictly limited in terms of project timescales which would almost certainly lead to the whole project being compromised. Community councils are encouraged to hold a healthy amount of reserve funds for a variety of reasons, including emergency spending and unforeseen costs such as spending on village infrastructure as well as for spending on projects which benefit the community as a whole.
The aim of the heritage trail is to provide a resource for the whole community to use and enjoy. Our very own village plan refers to our aim to develop a community perimeter trail which includes making use of the wildlife corridor along the old railway embankment. The heritage trail will concentrate on the history of the community, highlighting buildings and areas of historical interest and hopefully tell the story of how our community grew, as well as giving residents (and indeed visitors) the opportunity to stroll round the village and surrounding countryside and appreciate what we may often take for granted. The trail is roughly circular, starting and finishing outside the village hall on the corner of Bennetts Lane and Main Road. The aim is for an interactive resource with historical notes available online as well as a number of strategically placed information boards located around the trail.