The Watercress Way receives huge funding boost from Alresford Rotary

A significant financial legacy gifted to Alresford Rotary by Bridget Newitt of Alresford on her death in 2017 has resulted in the Watercress Way* receiving its largest ever single donation of £4,500. Mike Newitt, Bridget’s husband, who sadly predeceased her in 1996, was a founder member of Alresford Rotary and the couple were closely associated with the club for many years. Alresford Rotary decided to use the Newitt legacy for specific projects in the local area which are in keeping with the Newitt’s interests in wildlife and the local environment and community.
Rotarians President Stephen Pinch, Paul Watters and Founder member Richard Hawkins from Alresford presented the cheque to Watercress Way Trustees Mike Collis, Malcolm Prince, Kim Adams and Chairman Jackie Porter at the Itchen Abbas section of the route on Monday the 12 August. Immediate Past President of Alresford Rotary, Paul Watters said “we felt it essential to use this very generous legacy wisely and in memory of two people who were an integral part of supporting Alresford life and our club. The Watercress Way is a perfect fit with the Newitts who loved nature, birds and walks – the donation from the legacy will fund 10 substantial wooden benches along the route and 10 information points”.
Jackie Porter, Chair of Watercress Way Trustees said “’this is the biggest grant we have received to date. We want to provide Access to All and this gift will enable us to install ten more seats along the 26 mile route. The funding will also provide listening posts so walkers can identify birdsong, and hear oral histories. We’d like to say a huge thank you to Alresford Rotary for making this grant. It will help a lot more people enjoy The Watercress Way and understand the creatures that live along it. The Watercress Way trustees host a Dawn Chorus walk every year, and are looking forward to helping more walkers to identify the local birdsong. We’ll remember the Newitts as we start our walk each year”.
*The Watercress Way project (a registered charity) aims to create a 26 mile circular trail along old railway lines (for example, The Watercress Line between Alresford and Kings Worthy) and droves to the east and north of Winchester. The route will include sections accessible to all including those less mobile, on pedal cycles and horseback. Sections at Itchen Abbas, Kings Worthy and Sutton Scotney are already opened. The Watercress Way is waymarked for walkers and more information can be found at: www.thewatercressway.org.uk