CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating after winning a year-long battle to have a popular footpath around Walton Mere re-opened.

The footpath, which links North Street and Orlando Court in Vicarage Lane, was first shut off to residents in 2012.

Owners of the Mere site Silverbrook Estates put up a 6ft metal fence to block off the route.

But residents rallied against the move and submitted evidence to Essex County Council in March 2013 in a bid to see the footpath added to the area’s definitive map.

And they are now celebrating after the council sided with them.

A spokesman for Walton Conservation Group said: “We are absolutely delighted. It has always been used by Walton residents and now it is safeguarded for future generations to use and enjoy as well."

Silverbrook Estates was unavailable for comment.