A DIVERTED footpath in Purbeck is to be returned to its original route, to protect walkers’ safety.

The permissive footpath, leading from the Priest’s Way at Blacklands, near Acton, Langton Matravers towards the coast, is being returned to its original line following the restoration of a former quarry.

The path is one of a network of footpaths and public rights of way which crosses through land looked after by the National Trust in south Purbeck.

The network of trails gives the public access to a landscape of lush wildflower meadows with sweeping sea views.

A few years ago, the path was diverted from the eastern side of an adjacent dry-stone wall to the western side, because quarrying was taking place in the field to the east.

Now that area has been returned to agriculture and quarrying has moved to the field on the western side of the wall, the path is being moved to protect walkers’ safety.

Quarrying for Purbeck Stone, prized by masons and builders, is a local tradition going back hundreds of years.

Though the heyday of the Purbeck stone trade is long past, the National Trust encourages small scale sustainable quarrying to continue.