AN OVERGROWN Halesowen footpath is open for the first time in 30 years.

The path, which links Hawne Lane to Hayseech along the old colliery boundary, has been cleared by Dudley Council's green care team.

It is around half a mile long and will form part of a nine-mile route from Norton, Stourbridge to Leasowes and on to Illey and Lapal. Leaflets advertising the route are being prepared.

Roy Burgess, of Halesowen Abbey Trust worked on the scheme, along with campaigners Daniel Bevan and Peter Dobb and councillor Simon Phipps.

Roy said: "The footpath was in a terrible state.

"It's been 30 years since you could get through.

"The abbey trust cleared a lot of the vegetation a few years ago, but a lot of trees had fallen across the path so through Dudley Access Forum we got green care to come out and clear them.

"It's quite an achievement."

Roy said the project is not quite finished, with public footpath signs to go up as well as a handrail and levelling still to be carried out.

He said: "You can get through, but I would urge anyone to proceed with caution."

Daniel and Peter said: "We've all come to appreciate our local walking routes far more over the last twelve months.

"That's why we're delighted to report that an old right of way will be reopened for the public to use and enjoy.

"Working with a local rights of way campaigner and Simon Phipps for Belle Vale, we've got the footpath from Hawne Lane to Hayseech along the old colliery boundary cleared and reopened.

"So you can enjoy this local woodland and beauty spot from a different perspective."