New pathway traverses the heart of England

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The Independent Online
AN AMBITIOUS new long-distance footpath extending for 225 miles through the heart of England will be opened later this week.

The Midshires Way will provide a recreational route for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders through some of Britain's most beautiful and tranquil countryside.

Linking the Ridgeway National trail in Buckinghamshire with the Transpennine Trail, the new path, which passes through Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Greater Manchester, is the product of a collaboration between the Countryside Commission, the Peak District National Park, the British Horse Society, the Cyclists' Touring Club, the Ramblers' Association and local highways authorities.

The route, which opens on Friday and is marked by thousands of Midshires Way signposts, has been 'braided' so that on some sections walkers, cyclists and horse-riders will share the path while elsewhere riders and cyclists will use bridleways or roads while walkers take footpaths.

Keith Garton, chairman of a working party set up by the East Midlands Council for Sport and Recreation, said: 'The Midshires Way will not only provide an important new opportunity for people wanting the challenge of several days walking or riding across the Midlands, but will also be used on short sections by those making local circular walks or rides which link with part of the overall route.'