AN unsafe bridleway has been saved following a generous £21,000 grant.

The horse-friendly path in Horton is imperative to the local community as it is the only off-road access from Horton Tower and links equestrians, cyclists and walkers to routes in Queens Copse, Ferndown Forest, Holt Forest and beyond. But it had deteriorated over time, becoming overgrown with dangerous and unusable boggy sections.

Knowlton Parish Council joined forces with the British Horse Society to raise funds for essential work on the bridleway, including cutting back trees and scrub and creating a new drainage system, making it wider and safer to use.

A total of £21,000 was put forward for the project, £15,000 of which was granted by Veoila Environmental Trust through the Landfill Communities Fund. The remaining funds were secured from the British Horse Society's Paths for Communities Fund, Knowlton Parish Council, Dorset Council, the Knowlton Parish Community Benefit Fund which is funded by the installers of sustainable energy facilities in the Horton area and the East Dorset Ramblers Association with the support of the Forestry Commission and local residents.

Chairman of the Parish Council, Cllr Jerry Laker said: “Knowlton Parish Council is delighted to have been a part of this project to improve the accessibility to the extensive forest area and our landmark tower at Horton.”