Volunteers clearing up Ledbury’s Town Trail are ensuring they don’t disturb the town’s hedgehogs, frogs and slow worms.

Sustainable Ledbury has been working to clear the section between Bridge Street and Woodleigh Road - and has also cut back the overgrowth on the steps down to the trail.

Residents have even been joined by Balfour Beatty workers, who used their annual volunteering days to help the project.

“Through the early part of the year and the spring we cut back vegetation, cleared ditches and planted marginal planting - plants that belong in the wetland environments,” said project leader Nina Shields.

“We also had lots of nettles to clear, which wasn’t the nicest job to do.

“And we’re incredibly grateful to the Severn Trent Community Fund for the grant funding that enabled us to install the information board, which is now in situ near the Bridge Street end.”

The board has information on the trail, which started life as a canal, then was a railway line before becoming the pathway that is now being restored.

Volunteers tackled the overgrown steps after being stopped by a resident who relied on them for access to the trail and wondered whose responsibility they were.

“Another resident asked if there was any chance we’d be working over the other side of the bridge,” said Nina. “We’d love to be able to, but there’s a lot to do.

“The feedback from residents has been amazing - some have told us the path is actually draining better because of the work we’ve done clearing the ditch.

“We are being very careful as we know there are slow worms, hedgehogs and frogs in the area and there may even be newts.

“We’ll only be working on either side of the path as we don’t want to disturb any habitats - the aim is to increase biodiversity.

“I can’t tell you how appreciative we are of the Severn Trent Community Fund grant, and we have great support from our volunteers - sometimes as many as 10 taking part in a session.”