RIGHTS of way, heritage and the arts could receive a huge boost if funding is secured to establish an East Wight Landscape Partnership.
A similar organisation to the West Wight Landscape Partnership, which was established with £1.7 million of Heritage Lottery Fund cash, will be set up — if the bid is successful.
IW Ramblers’ chairman David Howarth told Nettlestone and Seaview Parish Council on Monday the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty partnership bid was one of a range of measures that would improve access to the countryside.
He said the West Wight partnership made a huge difference to rights of way there. A series of easy-access trails had been opened up and Southern Vectis was producing leaflets for walks accessible by bus.
In the West Wight the Ramblers’ Donate a Gate scheme resulted in an 'overwhelming’ response providing 80 gates. They enabled access to people with disabilities and pushchairs.
Mr Howarth welcomed a new era of co-operation with the IW Council’s rights of way department.
"For four years I thought I was banging my head against a brick wall — but things are beginning to happen and I am quietly confident," he said.
The parish council decided to liaise closely with the ramblers over the condition of rights of way in the area, and to investigate whether there was a need for it to fund a gate to replace a stile on any of the parish paths.