WALKERS in Wem have new areas to explore thanks to work by the town's Parish Paths Partnership (P3).

Many towns and villages around Shropshire have functioning P3 groups, which work with local councils, landowners and volunteers to repair, maintain and improve public paths.

For a long time, Wem was conspicuous in its lack of one of these groups, but this has recently been changed by the Wem Climate Forum.

The newly formed P3 group for Wem Urban and Rural parishes has now achieved its first improvement to rights of way in the area with the installation of a new kissing gate.

Katharine Murray from Wem Climate Forum said more plans were being drawn up to open more paths to the public.

She said: "The gate will enable walkers to access the path between Barkers Green and Weir Lane without having to clamber over an awkward stile.

"Volunteers spent a Saturday morning digging post holes for the gate and a new signpost provided by Shropshire County Council.

"Future plans include improvements to many of the paths around Wem which are currently difficult for the public to access.

"The Wem group has been revived recently as an initiative of the Wem Area Climate Forum, which hopes to see footpaths not only maintaining health and wellbeing, but becoming corridors for wildlife and biodiversity in our highly cultivated landscape.

"If you would like to volunteer with the group, or to report a path in need of improvement, organisers Edwin Hargraves and John Dinsdale can be contacted via the Wem Town Council website."