In a bid to help children reconnect with nature, the National Trust asked more than 1,700 kids to vote on their top outdoor activities and reasons why.  Over half of the children questioned (63 per cent) chose tree climbing, den building and bike riding as the top three activities.  Nearly all parents (96 per cent) agreed these activities helped to strengthen their child’s relationship with the natural world.  Over half (60 per cent) of children chose bike riding because they could do it with their family.

In 2013 we were asked to work towards setting up a foot and cycle path from Saffron Walden to run through Great Chesterford and to link up with the Cambridgeshire networks.  We visited every City, Town, Parish, District and County Council impacted by the route and received broad support, including all 3 MPs.  In partnership with Essex Highways UDC has produced a detailed feasibility study which outlines the route, design and cost per section.  As part of this an Essex Cycling Strategy and an Uttlesford Cycling Strategy were later produced to support our path in obtaining grant funding.  Please find attached all three documents along with our presentation and request for funding.

The route is now a candidate scheme for funding in the Uttlesford Cycling Strategy, however the Uttlesford Strategy recommended that priority be given to the Wendon Road scheme linking Saffron Walden with Audley End Rail Station, and then the completion of the Flitch Way scheme to the south of the district.  The main source of funding for our route is from the Essex/UDC joint Local Highways Panel budget and contributions from developments in our local area, our main hope for funding is to attract contributions for developments along the route.  So far we have one section funded from the development of the Greenhouse site which will provide a path from there to the corner of Church Street.  Our next priority is to ensure the scheme is included to the Uttlesford Infrastructure Plan which will support the Local Plan.