The Colne Valley is a vital resource for local people, providing water, food, recreation and associated health benefits. Having access to natural green spaces is shown to have a positive effect on people’s mental as well as physical health. The Landscape on the edge scheme aims to improve people’s access to the countryside around them by improving path networks and increasing awareness of available walking routes. The your place in the Colne Valley project links closely with the Colne Valley Trail project in trying to improve the regional parks path network. Whilst the Colne Valley Trail focuses on one particular route and its associated signage, the your place project focuses on physical footpath improvements in other areas of the valley.
The best example of a site in urgent need of improvement is the footpath which runs under the A40 near Denham Country Park and helps link Denham with Alderglade Nature Reserve and ultimately Uxbridge. This path has long been covered in litter and has been the target of fly tippers, with degraded broken fencing and an uneven and dangerous surface. The area is a site for graffiti which evokes mixed responses but it has to be acknowledged that the bridge supports are the recipients of some pretty dramatic artwork. This project aims to remove the litter, erect new attractive and secure fencing and re-surface the section of footpath that runs under the A40 itself. This will hopefully provide a far more safe and attractive walk and allow more people to feel comfortable in accessing the countryside around them and allow them to view the graffiti.
Highways England have already helped by putting some of the area on their maintenance programme for litter picking.