FOR years he campaigned for better access to local footpaths.
Now Colin Savage is to be immortalised in steel as part of project to create a trail to a beauty spot.
Former steelworker Colin, aged 74, of Kiveton, won a public vote to become one of three life-size figures whose image will be cut from a steel sheet to form a portrait bench to be installed in Killamarsh.
Colin will join two others – from Sheffield and Derbyshire – as part of a national art project from charity Sustrans, which is adding the benches to new lottery-funded walking and cycling routes across the UK.
Corporal Liam Riley, a 21-year-old from Killamarsh, who died in Afghanistan while trying to save a friend, has already been selected.
The project will provide a trail between the Halfway Tram stop to Rother Valley Country Park, creating two new bridges and providing a route avoiding a dangerous section of road.
Colin confessed he was speechless at being told he had won the Rotherham vote.
He said: “It is absolutely brilliant and is a great honour for both me and Wales Parish Council in particular. The council has supported me for many years and actually nominated me for the vote.
“But most importantly, it is great for the local countryside and for footpaths and rights of way in general. They are a hugely important and valuable part of our local countryside and so need to be protected and maintained.”
Well-known throughout the local community, Colin has long campaigned to make the countryside accessible to everyone – including families with pushchairs and those with mobility scooters.
For many years he has worked with the Rights of Way team at Rotherham Council to expand and enhance access and regularly reports on issues affecting paths such as obstruction and overgrown vegetation.