Ramblers on the right track
THEY stoop to conquer a healthy challenge around Stevenage. Boot-clad ramblers recently undertook a 14-mile walk which started and ended in Graveley. It was the beginning of a campaign to promote the Stevenage Outer Orbital Path (STOOP) which follows a 28
THEY stoop to conquer a healthy challenge around Stevenage.
Boot-clad ramblers recently undertook a 14-mile walk which started and ended in Graveley.
It was the beginning of a campaign to promote the Stevenage Outer Orbital Path (STOOP) which follows a 28-mile East Chiltern countryside trail around the town.
STOOP has been devised - and walked - by members of the North Hertfordshire Ramblers' Association, using existing rights of way wherever possible.
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The ramblers' next task is to find the funding to secure paths, bring stiles up to standard and get the route signed. Their aim is that the trail will be safe, easy to follow and attractive for all to enjoy.
But STOOP is only part of a much bigger project local ramblers have in mind. With the massive proposed development west of the A1(M) now virtually certain to go ahead, they want a second Stevenage Orbital Path as well.
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This would involve the creation of new urban footpaths, both a brand new orbital footpath/cycleway tracing the periphery of an expanded town and also crucial linking paths between it, the town network and the new countryside trail beyond, with safe crossings of rail and motorway provided.
These are proposals the ramblers' group put forward as a mitigation measure in response to the East of England Plan which is a blueprint for nearly half a million new homes in the region over the next few years..
Group members are encouraged that improved provision for walking and cycling has now been recommended by a government inspector.
"Walkers need footpaths to walk on," said a spokesperson. "We just want to help them get them.