A walk in the park: Help Delapré signposts project step up the pace

Date 17.05.2021

Members of the public can help people get the most out of park walks by signing up for the next phase of a University-led wellbeing project.

Earlier this year, the University of Northampton – in collaboration with Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust and Northamptonshire Sport – announced the installation of a signposted walking route around Delapré Park.

Directional signposts contain maps and walking distances and times to help people navigate their way around a set route.

In turn, the signposts give people confidence that going for a walk is safe as they know where they are and how far they have walked at regular intervals. They can also discover more about the nature, heritage and history the park has to offer.

As part of the collaboration, the team launched a survey about what information should be on the signposts. This captured 266 responses, currently being analysed to develop the design of the signposts.

For the project’s next phase, volunteers are needed to observe current park use at three locations in Northampton: Delapré Park, Hunsbury Hill, and St. Crispin’s Park.

The observation days are Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 June 2021. All volunteers need do is make four, one-hour observations each day in pairs, keeping a tally of how many people they see.

Each location is close to shops, bathrooms and car parking and the University will host a training meeting prior to the observations to practice and answer any questions. All tools for the observation will be provided on the day.

Dr Declan Ryan, Lecturer in Exercise Physiology at the University, is the project lead. He said: “We’re really grateful to all the responses we received to our initial survey; it was an incredible response rate! I’d like to thank the local community for their engagement, as they have allowed us to see the strong support for the project, but also made some queries and concerns that we can reflect on moving forward.

“We’re hopeful to be able to share the results more widely once the analysis is complete. We’re now ready to push onto the next phase of the project, which is the monitoring of current park use in Northampton.”

If you are over the age of 18 years and can transport yourself to one of the three locations, contact Declan to register for volunteering or to enquire for further details.

Email: declan.ryan@northampton.ac.uk

Telephone: 01604 892 415