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Volunteers build disabled access for anglers

Anglers with disabilities will soon have safer access to fishing at Spring Grove Pond in Bookham.

From Press releases - 5 June 2014 12:00 AM

Anglers with disabilities will soon have safer access to fishing at Spring Grove Pond in Bookham.

Twenty volunteers from UK Power Networks Services, plus their contractors, are swapping their usual jobs for a community challenge today and tomorrow (June 5/6).

The volunteers work for the company which designs, builds, operates, maintains and finances private electricity networks for rail, airports, nuclear, defence and other commercial customers.

They are constructing a 70metre-long path leading to the pond, off Eastwick Drive, and the company’s contractors are providing specialist machinery and materials for the task.

Dave Tarrant, organiser of the challenge and a project engineer at UK Power Networks Services, said: “It will make a big difference. Lots of people can’t walk long distances and if we can make it safer for them on a proper pathway they have a better chance of getting to the water’s edge.

“At the moment this area consists of open land with grass which can get very muddy, boggy and slippery. We will make a new path enabling anglers with disabilities to get down to the waterside and do the sport they love.

“I want to thank everyone who is helping us with the challenge. We hope the local community will feel much safer using this area during the wetter winter months once we have finished our work.”

The team are giving up their time as part of UK Power Networks Services’ employee volunteering scheme which encourages all employees to spend two paid days each year helping their local communities. This year 114 staff have donated over 900 hours to support projects like this.

Councillor James Friend, portfolio holder for environment, said: “Mole Valley District Council is focused on ensuring access to services for residents. We are therefore very pleased to support these works with UK Power Network Services and Leatherhead and District Angling Society. The new path will improve access for less able-bodied visitors and anglers alike encouraging people to enjoy this open space even more.”

The project is being carried out in partnership with Mole Valley District Council and Leatherhead and District Angling Society, with support Terry Smart of TP Smart Ltd, David Murray of Blu and LPC Construction.