OFFENDERS carrying out community work along an idyllic stretch of disused railway have been praised for improving the popular path.

Community Payback is a sentence made by the court that involves people working for a period of time under the supervision of the Probation Service on tasks that benefit local areas.

Teams of up to eight people doing unpaid work have shifted tonnes of mud, leaves and silt that had obscured swathes of the route on the Wirral Way, near Lees Lane, Little Neston.

Jack, who was sentenced to 70 hours unpaid work, said: “It’s nice that what we are doing is appreciated.

“I’d obviously prefer not to be here, I’m doing this as well as my job so I’ve lost a lot of free time, but I am happy getting stuck into it and am pleased it is helping the area.”

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s director of place operations, Maria Byrne, added: “Our Greenspaces Team has a long-standing partnership with the Community Payback Team and the arrangement has produced excellent results.

“I’m very grateful to everyone who has been involved with the work near Lees Lane, they have done a great job.”

The disused railway is an 11-mile stretch that links Hooton to West Kirby.

The work started last October and has been supervised by the Cheshire and Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company’s Community Payback Supervisor, Val Barker.

Val said: “We’ve a really good relationship with the council and have been happy to get stuck into this task. It’s a beautiful stretch, but sadly – as well as the silt – a fair amount of litter had been dropped as well, but we’ve shifted that too.

“People on Community Payback have worked hard and many passers-by have thanked them for their efforts.

“I am delighted that they have been praised for a job well done.”

Offenders across this region carry out more than half a million hours of unpaid work every year.