Walk tall naturally with purpose

Multi-Activity Outdoor Trails Network

Summer 2012

Trial trails for Nordic walking and healthwalks were launched in Stanmer Park during the Brighton & Hove TAKEPART International Festival of Sport & Physical Activity from 23 June to 8 July and the Olympic Torch Relay celebrations from 14 to 16 July.

New Year 2012

Planning the twelve starter routes for the four outdoors activities is well underway and will be disussed with the City Council as landowners and park managers early in the New Year. Once approved, work will begin to make them fit for purpose, including sympathetic waymarking and interpretation.

These will then be mainly publicised via the internet, including the South Downs National Park download application currently under development.

Summer 2011

Having secured support from the South Downs Collabor8 (EU INTERREG IV-funded) Project managed by the South Downs National Park Authority (go to Collabor8  for more information), a small stakeholder meeting was held in December 2010 to float the proposal and set up a group to take the project forward.

An overview of the whole scheme – The Stanmer Experience Project – was circulated following this meeting describing the basic proposal and outlining what to do next.

The project’s action group met for the first time in April 2011 and agreed how to take the next steps. It met again in June to discuss starter trail routes in the park for walking, Nordic walking, cross-country running and off-road family cycling. These are now being mapped out for all parties to approve. A Nature Trail will be included. They will then be publicised and promoted mainly via the internet..

To find out more, contact Nordic Walking for health

Spring 2009
Nordic Walking for Health is very ambitious in the long term about Nordic Walking: let’s make Brighton & Hove the first Nordic Walking City in the UK, so that visitors to our attractive city are more likely than not to see people Nordic Walking along our seafront promenade and undercliff path or in one of our many parks!

If you or your organisation is interested in seeing the proposal outlined below become a reality, join the network of supporters by emailing peter@nordicwalkingforhealth.co.uk

A Multi-Activity Outdoor Trails Network would be a trail network of maintained, ‘information-rich’ paths and tracks, specifically designed for outdoor activities/sports that is purpose-made for people seeking to improve their health, fitness and well-being and/or sports performance.

Proposal Aim
To establish a network of outdoor trails fit for participating in physical activities that provide effective exercise within Stanmer Park, Brighton, East Sussex, South East England.

Proposal Objectives

  • To promote wider and sustained participation in effective outdoor exercise among the local, resident population
  • To promote public access to the South Downs National Park, especially among underrepresented groups
  • To make the local area even more attractive to visitors and tourists by offering a choice of outdoor exercise
  • To enable specific ‘sedentary’ target groups to become more active through Walking-based exercise
  • To provide a ‘stepping stone’ for such people to move on to other effective forms of exercise
  • To increase membership of related local sports clubs
  • To facilitate rehabilitation of individuals recovering from illness or injury – or living with specific conditions responsive to such activity – through effective and safe exercise on ‘fit for purpose’ trail surfaces
  • To resource major local employers with exercise programmes for managing stress and musculoskeletal problems among employees
  • To provide limited local employment opportunities
  • To increase public awareness of local and global environmental issues.

Key Features

  • Open access – accessible to all
  • Safe for all
  • Stop-free – no need to stop for directions to allow for timed exercise
  • Professionally planned – ‘fit for purpose’
  • Way-marked and informing – signs and notices with maps, trail descriptions, health & fitness guidance and information about the locality, e.g. flora & fauna, local businesses, all linked to web and paper-based sources
  • Easy to read signposting – international signage to facilitate quick & easy understanding of the nature of the trail, e.g. distance, terrain, time, level of difficulty
  • Vandal-proof signs – robust & durable.

The idea is based on the inspiring model and concept of Nordic Sports Fitness Parks™. These are well-established, for example, in Scandinavia, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic.

Relevant activities and sports include:

  • Nordic walking
  • Natural walking, including a Nature Trail
  • Cross-country running
  • Off-road family cycling
  • Community rehabilitation following illness and injury.

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