Local partnership launches website to help people reconnect with nature in Northampton

Local people and organisations have been working together to help make it easier for people in Northampton to reconnect with nature.

The Active Quarter partnership is made up of landowners, charities, businesses, community groups and organisations including West Northamptonshire Council (WNC), who have been working together to improve access to the vast greenspace between the south of the town centre, Brackmills Industrial Estate and Hardingstone.

This outdoor space offers a range of attractions including the award-winning Northampton Bike Park, the Washlands Nature Reserve and miles of footpaths through nature.

Since 2020, residents have played an active role in improving these spaces for the community including curating a range of new workshops and classes at Delapré Abbey and completing public research projects with the University of Northampton to help demonstrate the need for more accessible footpath signage in Delapré Park.

This month, the vision for the Active Quarter takes another step forward with the launch of a brand-new website designed to make finding and enjoying great outdoor spaces in Northampton even easier. The website includes an outdoor spaces directory and information about street lighting, seating, public toilets, and other useful details as well as upcoming health and wellbeing events and updates about improvements in the area.

Dr Declan Ryan, Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology at the University of Northampton said: “The ambition for the Active Quarter partnership is to help make it easier for everybody to access safe, high-quality outdoor spaces – and enjoy getting active however they choose.

“The partnership aims to champion community engagement and ensure local residents play an active role in deciding how to improve these spaces.

“We’re really excited about the launch of our new website. Parks and outdoor spaces are vital for our health and wellbeing and we hope this can become an excellent resource supported by the community to help people get outdoors with confidence.”

In keeping with the aims of the Active Quarter project, the website will grow and evolve over time with residents being invited to contribute. Visitors to the site can complete a website feedback form, contribute to a map of outdoor seating in the area and share any local community groups they are part of.

Councillor Adam Brown, WNC’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with local organisations and residents to develop this new initiative which enables people to discover the beautiful scenery and walking routes available in the heart of Northampton.

“The Active Quarter covers an extensive area of green space and water, miles of footpaths, cycle routes, and sport and leisure facilities, all of which are featured on the new website.

“We hope this project will play an important role in protecting and enhancing our valuable recreational spaces while helping to shape the future health and wellbeing of communities in Northampton and the surrounding areas.”

Find out more by visiting the new Active Quarter website.

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