Community Payback Officer Jenny Old with Bradford Estates Head Groundsman Vince Derry on Monarch's Way

A stretch of the historic Monarch’s Way footpath in Shropshire has been restored as part of a community project for offenders delivered by the Probation Service working in partnership with landed estates business Bradford Estates.

People on probation spent two weeks clearing moss, litter picking, cutting back shrubs and edging pathways to restore a stretch of the Monarch’s Way footpath that had become overgrown and unsafe for members of the public using the route.

Previously, the communities in the villages of Weston under Lizard and Tong have benefitted from the repainting of the village lychgate, the strimming of a popular permissive path and maintenance of the graveyard in Weston as well as the renovation of a community water feature opposite St Bartholomew’s Church in Tong.

Bradford Estates has provided the Probation Service with opportunities to maintain and restore local community assets since 2021, with more than 250 people on probation completing conservation and environmental work across the estates.


People convicted of certain crimes can be sentenced to between 40 and 300 hours of Community Payback, previously known as Community Service, as an alternative to a short custodial sentence.

The Monarch’s Way is a 615-mile long-distance footpath that is thought to be the escape route taken by King Charles II in 1651 after being defeated in the Battle of Worcester. It runs from Worcester via Bristol and Yeovil to Brighton, detouring into Shropshire for a short way.

Bradford Estates Managing Director Alexander Newport said:

“We have a great relationship with the Ministry of Justice and have supported more than 250 people on probation completing restoration and environmental work across the estates.

“The work not only has a positive impact in our local community but provides people on probation with valuable, practical life skills which can support a future free of crime.”

Community Payback Supervisor Jenny Old added:

“The Monarch’s Way pathway was a great project for our team to regenerate for the benefit of the local community.

“We have had some great feedback from the community and pleased to hear that the pathway is now a safer route for residents to use. The experience is valuable for our offenders who feel they are making a positive contribution to the community while justice is being served.”

Landed estates business Bradford Estates is responsible for managing 12,000 acres on the Shropshire and Staffordshire borders. Working to its 100-year plan and guided by its heritage, Bradford Estates is committed to doing things “the right way”, developing practices that truly make the local way of life better.