A project aimed at encouraging people to explore Bath’s green spaces along with visiting its historic landmarks has been launched.
Our Landscape City connects Bath with its surrounding landscape and champions the city as a walking and cycling destination as well as a heritage destination, encouraging visitors beyond the city centre to support the local economy.
A large map showing walking or cycling routes from the centre of Bath to green spaces including Limpley Stoke, Charmy Down and Prospect Stile has been installed in a shop in Cheap Street.
The map shows the duration of each walk based on an average walking speed of two miles an hour, along with the facilities available at each location. QR codes direct people to the Bathscape website and a new area on the council website highlighting the walking opportunities, information and support available across the district.
It is hoped Our Landscape City will encourage more people to walk and cycle in, around and out of the city centre to explore the wealth of green spaces there are, benefitting people’s physical and mental health.
Our Landscape City is a project between Bath & North East Somerset Council, Bathscape, Bristol & Bath Parks Foundation, Visit Bath, Bath BID and several other local partners.
Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services, said: “Bath is a perfect size for exploring both city and landscape on foot or by bike, and we have spectacular views within relatively short distances. With many of us spending more time at home due to the pandemic, fresh air and exercise is key to maintaining physical health and mental wellbeing.
“Our Landscape City will inspire people to enjoy everything Bath has to offer beyond the historic landmarks, encouraging visitors to extend their time here and help revitalise the local economy. We hope this exciting project will place Bath as a walking and cycling destination and inspire people to connect to our parks and green spaces.”
Dr Bruce Laurence, Director of Public Health, said: “Many people will be aware that the great outdoors benefits our physical health, but there is also an array of evidence which shows that spending time in parks, gardens, woodlands and other green spaces can also have a noticeable effect on our mental health and wellbeing. It can help reduce stress and anxiety, help ease symptoms of depression and even having an indirect interaction with nature, such as viewing trees or countryside through a window, have been associated with lower blood pressure.
“With all of us spending more time at home currently, daily fresh air is invaluable right now. In light of the coronavirus outbreak, maintaining a connection with the natural world is more vital than ever to ensure we’re taking good care of our health and wellbeing.”
Charlee Bennett, Director, Bristol and Bath Parks Foundation commented: “This is a fantastic way of inspiring us all to explore green space in and around Bath, especially during the current crisis. It’s so important to spend time outside our four walls, particularly for those living in flats or without a garden at home. Pulling on the wellies, getting close to nature and being energetic will help us keep well both physically and mentally this winter. Plus this is a great opportunity to discover parks and communities we’ve never visited before.”
If successful in Bath, the council hopes to extend the project throughout Bath and North East Somerset.