Ribbon-cutting ceremony will open new signposted walk at Northampton's Delapré Park
The three kilometre route will take walkers past the historic battlefield site of the 1460 Battle of Northampton, Delapré Abbey, Delapré Woods, the lake and the golf course
A new signposted walking route within Delapré Park in Northampton will open this bank holiday weekend.
The scenic walking route will be opened on Sunday, August 29 at 10am by the chief executive of Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust Richard Clinton, lecturer in exercise physiology at the University of Northampton Dr Declan Ryan and founder of Northamptonshire Walks David Askew at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
David Askew said: “Northamptonshire Walks is really excited to be part of this project with Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust and Northamptonshire Sport.
“Little did we know at that time the impact Covid would have on the world and, throughout the various lockdowns, walking was one of the few things that people could do – even from their doorstep.
"I have received many personal messages about what walking has done for people's physical and mental health in these difficult times.
“I look forward to getting the new route on northamptonshirewalks.co.uk as soon as possible so more people can explore this wonderful place.”
The ceremony will consist of short speeches and a walk of the new route, which will conclude with light refreshments at the Abbey.
Everyone is invited to join and is asked to meet outside Delapré Abbey's deli, Common Ground, at 9.45am before walking to the start of the new route for the ceremony at 10am.
The 3km route will take walkers past the historic battlefield site of the 1460 Battle of Northampton, Delapré Abbey, Delapre Woods, the lake and the golf course.
The new signposted route is the product of months of research carried out by the University of Northampton, Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust and Northamptonshire Sport.The project investigated if a signposted route with maps and arrows could increase walking there and improve the physical activity and wellbeing of people in the community through public surveys and observing how walkers currently use Delapré Park.
Dr Declan Ryan said: “The University of Northampton are really grateful for the collaboration with Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust and Northamptonshire Sport that has allowed us to research the impact that walking route signage can have on the public’s participation in physical activity and engagement with green spaces, which are both valuable for improving wellbeing.
“Although signposted walking routes are becoming more common, they are under-researched and thus, our project at Delapre Park will be providing valuable evidence of how the public engage with such wayfinding information."
The project will continue to run for two years and footfall along the route will be monitored during that time to compare with the data collected by the university between March and August 2021 in addition to footfall within two other parks in Northampton.
Users of the route will be able to feedback their experiences by completing an online questionnaire that can be accessed by scanning the QR code or entering the website address displayed on the new signs within Delapré Park.
For more information about walking routes in Delapré Park, visit https://delapreabbey.org/park.