Friends of the Loxley Valley volunteers cutting back overgrowth on the footpath near Olive Mill

Friends of the Loxley Valley footpath stewardship work


Friends of the Loxley Valley holds work sessions on local footpaths during the summer months, to help to keep them free of obstructive vegetation.

We meet at Rowell Bridge and work mainly on the “Easy Going Trail” footpath running alongside the River Loxley to Olive Mill.

Photograph of sign commemorating the opening of the footpath
This section of footpath was opened by Sheffield City Council leader David Blunkett in 1985.

The path has a “tapping rail” alongside it to help people with visual impairments to find their way along it. It also has a hard level surface to make it safe to use for people with prams, wheelchairs and other mobility aids.

There are brail signs at both ends of the path to mark its opening as in Easy Going Trail in 1985 by the then Sheffield City Council leader David Blunkett. This followed improvement work to make it accessible for people with restricted agility.

You can learn more about the path in the promotional video at the bottom of this page. It was produced for Sheffield’s “Outdoor City” strategy, and features the television presenter Julia Bradbury.

What footpath work does Friends of the Loxley Valley do?

We keep the tapping rail clear of overgrowth, and also cut back overhanging vegetation when it begins to obstruct other parts of the path.

We have agreed the work with the council’s public rights of way officer, to help him concentrate his limited resources on urgent maintenance and repair tasks on the city’s footpath network.

Our team also cuts back overgrowth on some of the other footpaths near Rowell Bridge when we have the capacity.

Recently we’ve cleared the two stretches of duckboard on the parallel footpath that runs through the woodland on the south side of the river between the Olive Mill footbridge (“one man” bridge) and the old packhorse bridge near Rowell Bridge.

How can I get involved in the footpath work?

Our work sessions are open to all Friends of the Loxley Valley members. Planned sessions in 2024 are running as follows:

  • Saturday 1st June 2pm-4pm
  • Saturday 15th June 2pm-4pm
  • Tuesday 25th June 7pm-8.30pm
  • Saturday 13th July 2pm-4pm
  • Tuesday 23rd July 7pm-8.30pm

Volunteers don’t need any specialist skills. We only take on “gardening” style tasks that can be done by lay people. We ask volunteers to bring along their own gloves and small hand tools, (e.g. secateurs and shears). FoLV provides work signs and hi-vis vests.

We ask members to email us at info@friendsoftheloxleyvalley.com before each work session if they intend to come along.

  • Friends of the Loxley Valley would like to thank Bradfield Parish Council for their generous £200 community grant towards our environmental work. This has helped to pay for our hi-vis vests, our work signs, and our public liability insurance.
Friends of the Loxley Valley volunteers clearing a stretch of duckboards on the path through the woods near Rowell Bridge
Friends of the Loxley Valley volunteers clearing a stretch of duckboards on the path through the woods near Rowell Bridge
Friends of the Loxley Valley volunteers with a wheelbarrow of tools on the "easy access" footpath near Olive Mill
Friends of the Loxley Valley volunteers with a wheelbarrow of tools on the “easy access” footpath near Olive Mill