THE Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has purchased 110 acres of land in order to improve access for both residents and visitors and to safeguard vital open space.

The newly purchased site, which cost the council approximately £1 million and is located off Lower Cookham Road, contains the missing link in the Millennium Walk route. The Millennium Walk project was created as a seven-mile trail off the Thames Path, linking Boulters Lock to Hurley on a cross-country route through the green spaces that surround Maidenhead.

Ownership of the site known as Battlemead Common will allow residents to enjoy the wildlife and views of Cliveden House and the surrounding countryside. A lot of the site has previously been used for farming including areas such as Willow Woods and White Brook. The land is prone to flooding meaning it acts as an ideal habitat for wintering wildfowl and wafers.

Councillor Samantha Rayner, cabinet member for culture and communities, said:

“I am delighted we have been able to secure the long-term future of this land between Maidenhead and Cookham which will ensure this green divide remains open space for residents and visitors to enjoy.

"It is important we retain the natural spaces in our borough as we recognise the benefit beautiful countryside and open space has on the health and well-being of our residents. This land also gives us an ideal opportunity to further protect this area as a habitat for wildlife while preserving a natural undeveloped boundary between the two settlements."