National Trust buys up land for Bath ‘green corridor’ that links centre to the outskirts
Image credit: national trust
The National Trust has announced a new project to link Bath city centre directly to the countryside by knitting together patches of green space to create a 'green corridor' to rural areas.
By connecting towpaths, parks, woodlands and green spaces the conservation charity aims to remove barriers that might prevent people from inner city neighbourhoods feeling like they can access large green areas.
Bath residents will benefit from a new three-mile recognised route connecting the historic city to the surrounding green spaces.
While the first confirmed corridor will be in Bath, the organisation eventually wants to take the concept to other cities in the UK.
The announcement follows two years after the National Trust’s director-general, Hilary McGrady, first announced its ambitions to create 20 accessible 'green corridors' across England, Wales and Northern Ireland by 2030.
McGrady said: “These routes will improve access to nature for those living in urban areas who may feel disconnected from the countryside or cannot access rural areas easily. Research has shown that engaging with nature is good for our wellbeing, and that those connected to nature are likely to do more to help protect it.
“Many of us have felt the benefit of spending time in the outdoors and close to nature, especially over the past couple of years. We want to make it easier for more people to spend time in nature, and to give people in cities the chance to access the countryside more easily.
“Connecting up green spaces isn’t just good for people, it’s also good for wildlife, allowing animals and birds to move from one habitat to another.”
This first 'green corridor' will meander out from the World Heritage Site to Bathampton Meadows, just over 40 hectares of land that has been acquired by the National Trust.
The acquisition of 15.58 hectares of farmland and a transfer of 24.66 hectares from the local council will mean the land is now protected without any threat of future development. The charity is also hoping to create additional pathways on the land previously belonging to the council.
The area had previously been at risk when it was proposed as a potential site for a ‘Park and Ride’ in 2015.
With an official start and end point still to be determined, the ambition is for the route to start close to the historic medieval Bath Abbey, with a likely end point in Batheaston.
Tom Boden, general manager for the National Trust’s Bath properties, said: “With the meadows now protected forever, we will consult closely with the local community and stakeholders over the coming months to develop an exciting vision for the land to benefit both people and nature.
“With the city’s unique position sat in a hollow in the hills, we want to help more people to get out to this amazing countryside.
“As well as improving paths for walkers, we’ll be exploring if and how we can enhance cycle access along parts of this route.
“It’s thanks to the passion and commitment of local people who care about this important green space, and thanks to our close partnership with Bath and North East Somerset Council, that we’re now able to explore the possibilities presented.”
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