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Delapre Park walking route opens this Bank Holiday weekend

Date 26.08.2021

A new signposted walking route at Delapre Park opens this weekend with an official unveiling event following research led by by University of Northampton.

The project has been investigating if a signposted route with maps and arrows could increase walking at the Park and improve the physical activity and wellbeing of people in the community.

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 walk will end with light refreshments back at the Abbey. Everyone is invited to join and 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 new route will be opened by Dr Declan Ryan, Lecturer in Exercise Physiology who led the research, Richard Clinton, Chief Executive of Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust and David Askew, Founder, Northamptonshire Walks with a ribbon cutting ceremony, short speeches, and a walk of the new route.

Dr 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.

“This project will now run for a couple of years and during that time we will be monitoring footfall along the route to compare with the data we collected between March and August 2021, as well as with footfall within two other parks in the town. 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 the park.”

For more about Declan’s research, see our news story.