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UON survey aims to get Delapré visitors ‘walking the walk’

Date 25.03.2021

Signposting for members of the public so they can get more out of walking forms part of a new research collaboration, led by the University of Northampton.

The University has teamed up with NSport* and Delapré Abbey to design and install a directional walking route around the Abbey’s wood, located in Northampton.

Directional signposts – such as those in the example pictures below – contain maps and walking distances and times to help people navigate their way around a set walking route.

Directional signposts

These signs also give walkers more confidence that going for a walk is safe as they know where they are and how far they have walked at regular intervals.

To ensure the Delapré signs are as useful as possible, the team have created a quick and easy survey for members of the public to share their views on walking and directional signposts.

The survey – now open for the next month – asks for people’s opinions about how they plan a walk, whether they explore new paths and what type of routes they tend to choose.

The signposts are expected to be installed and revealed in September.

Dr Declan Ryan is from the University’s Sports Science team and is leading on the survey. He said: “For many of us, especially during the restrictions of lockdown, going for a walk is a great way of getting some fresh air in our lungs, stretching our legs or just getting out of the house.

“But not everyone is as confident when walking, especially with new locations. Working with NSport and Delapré Abbey, we want to make Northamptonshire more active more often; helping people get up and go for a walk is part of this.

“We look forward to reading people’s views on these signposts in our survey, whether they walk often, walk sometimes, or are just considering starting a post-Covid world on a new foot.”

Take the survey here.

*NSport is also helping to link this project with the Social Prescribing Link Workers and the existing health walk scheme as they will be the users and referrers to the route.