IT IS one year since a pedestrian and cycle path on a disused railway line in the Wye Valley opened after a long-running project.

The Wye Valley Greenway project aims to repurpose the long-since defunct railway line between Chepstow and Monmouth.

A year ago part of the line, through a 1km tunnel near the National Diving and Activity Centre (NDAC) just outside Chepstow, was opened to the public for the first time.

The tunnel has been closed during the winter, but now it is open once more.

The tunnel section will also be closed off at night with large gates. This is to protect the bats nesting inside.

At its deepest point, the tunnel is some 100m below the surface.

There is a slight curve in the track as you head through, giving the illusion that the underground section is far longer than it is.

Volunteers from charitable organisation Greenways and Cycleroutes originally surveyed the route in 2018.

They supervised construction by local contractors and organised volunteer work camps to repair structures, put up fences and install lighting and bat shelters.

The tunnel was surveyed for 18 months before being opened to the public, as the area is important for lesser horseshoe bats.

Low level lighting has been installed which, although disorienting at first, gives the tunnel atmosphere as well as protecting the bats.

The first people to venture through were commuters, off to work in Tintern and Monmouth respectively.