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Case Study: colchester’s rural villages, birch, layer de la haye, tiptree, brightlingsea and highwoods.

Residents willing to act to improve their health and well-being but do not have access to adequate facilities.


Location and Issues

  • Colchester’s Rural Villages, Birch, Layer de la haye, Tiptree, Brightlingsea and Highwoods.

  • People of Colchester’s rural community at would like to improve their health but do not have access to adequate facilities.

Main Partners

  • Countryside Agency – Walking the way to Health Initiative
  • Colchester Borough Council
  • Colchester Primary Care Trust

Project Description

Highwoods country park has five routes that have been especially designed to be an enjoyable form of exercise. There a some key factors in order to make the walks user friendly:

  • Each route starts and finishes at the visitor centre
  • Paths are surfaced adequately
  • Suitable for wheelchairs
  • Clearly sign posted
  • Benches are provided every 65 metres or so and more frequently of specific routes.
  • Walks are specifically graded so that participants can monitor their strength and stamina

The aim of the initiative is to get sedentary people to engage in more physical activity (walking) and is accessible to all ages, ethnic groups, male and female, specifically targeted at sedentary people.

Walking schemes are described as offering considerable potential because they are:

  • Structured
  • Supervised
  • Low cost

Emphasise regular low to moderate levels of physical activity (Countryside Agency 2001)