A NEW footpath linking Wales and England marks a great stride in cross-border co-operation.

The idea of a circular path using both sides of the River Dee circuit and incorporating the medieval Holt/Farndon bridge, dating from 1338, and the newer A534 bypass bridge was first raised six years ago.

Until now intrepid walkers have had to climb or slither down the embankment on the Welsh side. A metal staircase has now been installed on the Welsh side of the river to complement the one already on the Farndon side.

This brings the two villages, two counties, two countries and two banks of the Dee together with one circular walk, which includes some raised duck boarding, farm land, a quarry and Holt Castle.

Brian Payne, from Holt, has worked tirelessly over this period to co-ordinate the accesses, planning, legalities, design and funding of the project.

The cross-border co-operation includes Mike, Richard and Jonathan Tomlinson for granting the public the right to cross part of their land, the support of Holt Town Trust, Holt Community Council, Farndon Parish Council, Holt Local History Society and a £6,000 grant from Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN).

As part of the project, a group drawn from both sides of the river is in the process of producing a leaflet covering the new walk.

This will also include two historic walks of the villages and will be circulated to householders in the area.

The leaflet will also be available free of charge from local shops and businesses during July.