The East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership’s (CRP) efforts to get people out walking has been shortlisted for a national award.
In 2018 the CRP linked its walking routes from Lowestoft to Ipswich with those between Trimley and Felixstowe creating a 160 mile network of 22 walking routes; they created a new companion booklet, hosted more monthly guided walks and partnered with the Suffolk Walking Festival for the five day challenge walk. As a result the CRP was nominated for an ‘Influencing Positive Change’ Award at this year’s Community Rail Awards.
The new routes helped to bring the two disconnected systems together to create a seamless route from Lowestoft to Felixstowe.
The new booklet was created using new digitised maps, diagrams, landmarks, details of the scenery along the way and places to stop for refreshments. A further 5,000 copies has just been printed; the book is free and available from most public buildings in Suffolk. All the walks have been way-marked with the East Suffolk Line Walks logo which was done over a three year period.
The CRP also teamed up with the Suffolk Walking Festival on this year’s challenge walk. Hundreds took part and walked over 5-days in May from Lowestoft to Ipswich on the ‘I Walked the Line’ challenge.
The CRP also hosted more free guided walks each month; most of these walks start and finish at the rail station, enabling people from far and wide to easily participate using public transport.
Chairman of the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership, Aaron Taffera, said, “Studies have shown that walking is great for your health and the beautiful scenery of our part of Suffolk is positively good for the soul, so we encourage everyone to come and try one of our walks and see how good you feel!”
“We’ve put a lot of effort into mapping the walks, producing an easy to follow booklet and putting up way markers, as well as linking walks in with train stations where possible, so that people can reduce their carbon footprint at the same time.”
The winner of the awards will be announced at a ceremony in Telford on 3 October.