Create a Network of Green Walking Routes

Throughout Britain and beyond there are many examples of projects and initiatives that have made neighbourhoods better for walking.

The three case studies below briefly describe some of the improvements that have been achieved to build networks of green walking routes connecting people to the places they want to go, in the hope that it will provide inspiration for others.

Importantly, "create a network of green walking routes" is the second of our five Charter for Walking Neighbourhood asks. We hope that the case studies below will show tangible examples of how local authorities and community groups can work together to implement our Charter asks - and create neighbourhoods that truly put people walking first.

Case study 1: The Deepings Green Walk, Lincolnshire

Create a network of green walking routes by planning strategically.

A woman walking along an urban path with a garden wall and shrubs

Market Deeping Town and Deeping St. James Parish Councils in Lincolnshire are implementing a strategic plan to create a better walking environment.

Central to the plan is the creation of ‘The Deepings Green Walk’ - a 15km circuit which will allow residents and visitors to easily reach local facilities, housing and green spaces on foot, reducing car journeys and boosting public health.

The plan for the Green Walk was developed by the Deepings First Neighbourhood Planning Group in consultation with local residents. The Green Walk is now a key element in the Neighbourhood Plan and the Councils have formally adopted the ‘Deepings Green Walk standard’ for all new developments.

This means that new footpaths are required to be ‘safe, accessible, attractive, and rationally linked to existing routes’ and that all new housing development is integrated into the current network of paths.

Find out more

The Deepings Green Walk 

Deepings First Neighbourhood Plan 

Case study 2: Manchester Green Trails Network, Greater Manchester

Create a network of green walking routes by linking up green spaces via quiet routes.

Four people walking and talking, on a park path

Manchester’s Green Trail Walking Route was established in 2012 by Manchester City Council, the Ramblers, City of Trees, Living Streets and Transport for Greater Manchester. The Green Trail is a walking circuit of 14 routes circumnavigating the City of Manchester and connecting many of the City’s parks, woodlands and open spaces.

The route was developed to better link Manchester residents with the green spaces on their doorsteps. The Trail links up most of the parks and green spaces in Manchester with quieter urban streets and public transport links.

A team of Ramblers volunteers checked each section of the Trail, suggested improvements, developed maps and route descriptions as well as organising free led walks to encourage people to use it.

Find out more

Manchester Green Trail

Case study 3: Duke's River, London

Create a network of green walking routes by upgrading and promoting existing infrastructure.

Duke River path

Photo credit: www.londonslostrivers.com

In 2015, improvement works to the Duke’s River corridor began; paths were upgraded, new signage was installed, maps were printed, and the vegetation and habitats were improved.

The completion of this work in 2018 has created a 10 km, circular riverside walk along the Thames, Crane and Duke’s Rivers through Twickenham, Whitton, Isleworth and St Margarets.

There has been an increase in use of the key improved parts of the footpath by over 2,000% compared with the situation before the improvement works.

The Duke’s River green corridor is now used both as a destination and as a route to get elsewhere. It provides a link to a couple of pubs, a supermarket and two schools, and, following the improvement works which made the path feel safer, it is often used in preference to other routes (and to driving) to these places.

Find out more

The Duke's River Walk

What do you think?

Do you have any examples of best practice in building networks of green walking routes? If so, we'd love to hear from you: get in touch at campaign@ramblers.org.uk

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