A PUBLIC meeting will be held to launch a new group to campaign for better public access to former railway lines near Winchester.

The network of old railway lines, such as the Winchester to Newbury and the Winchester to Alresford, have been given a name – Watercress Way.

An extraordinary general meeting will be held on Monday September 7 to launch a new society. It will be able to apply for funding to improve and extend the footpaths.

Volunteers have been looking after a section of the line near Kings Worthy and a new path was recently opened at Itchen Abbas.

County councillor Jackie Porter sees it as a great opportunity for to promote recreation and conservation. The meeting will be at Martyr Worthy Hall, Church Lane, Martyr Worthy at 7.30pm.