Last month I had the chance to work with colleagues from Pathmakers, the independent charity arm of the Norfolk Local Access Forum, on a really interesting piece of work. We were asked to pitch for funding for The Ordnance Survey’s ‘open innovation’ project, through the annual Geovation Challenge. This year’s challenge was around ‘Building Greener, Smarter Communities’, and teams with an idea first compete for a place on a two day ‘Geovation Camp’ in London – which Pathmakers won - and then intensively work up their project in a boot camp environment, supported by facilitators and resources from the Geovation team. At the end of the camp a Geovation Conference takes place, where the ideas are pitched and voted on by an expert panel, and we were delighted to be awarded £10,000 of funding to develop our project!
Pathmakers invited me to join the team because the project idea, which is accompanied walking for people with low activity levels, could potentially be piloted on Marriott’s Way during our project. Called Community Friends Walks, it will involve building links with organisations who work with people experiencing ill health and isolation. We are looking at starting on the outer Norwich section of Marriott’s Way, so watch this space for new events and activities.
Sophie Cabot - Marriott's Way Heritage Trail Senior Project Officer.
The way marking and signage for six new circular walks will soon be appearing over the upcoming spring months in villages and towns along the length of Marriott’s Way. These will be in Aylsham, Cawston, Reepham, Whitwell and Costessey. I have been out with the Norfolk trails team to install the first set of posts for the brand new Costessey circular, and they are standing proud! So keep an eye out for the new signage if you’re in the area and the rest of the walk will soon be completed in time for our walking events beginning in April. Information about the walking events will be made available online in the ‘What’s On’ section of the Marriott’s Way website. Information booklets about they will also be made available as soon as the walks have been fully installed, in time for everyone to walk and enjoy over the summer.
The 'What's On' page on our website is filling up as the 2018 walking season is nearly upon us.
Our first event is on 14th April, kicking off with a guided walk around the newly signed Costessey Circular. This walk will take in the sites of the old Hellesdon Station, followed by a short stop at a pub half way around for lunch will help refuel, before finishing the 5 mile walk.
We are holding a birdsong I.D. training course in Reepham in May in partnership with Norfolk Wildlife Trust. This event, led by Norfolk Wildlife Trust's David North, will explore how to identify birds by listening to their song. An early start (7am) will allow participants to make the most of the morning's roundelay, and the group will begin in the Bircham Centre before venturing out onto nearby Marriott's Way.
I have been out with the Norfolk Trails team carrying out access improvements to The Norfolk Coast Path on a much loved local landmark, Beeston Bump, in Sheringham. Working on the project has allowed me to gain valuable knowledge about the processes involved in putting together a high profile project like this one. I have also learnt many new practical skills and resurfacing methods and I’m now well equipped to carry out similar resurfacing works on other trails such as Marriott’s Way!
I also recently attended an outdoor learning seminar and workshop at the Natural History Museum in London, with our Education Officer, Maddy. The workshop was very inspiring and gave us some new ideas for ways to get children into the outdoors and learning in green spaces like Marriott’s Way.
Ella Meecham – Marriott’s Way Heritage Trail Infrastructure Trainee.
Do you have an interest in Norfolk’s railway history and a desire to increase your skills and knowledge through volunteering? We're putting on a series of hands-on training days for volunteers on Norfolk's disused railway lines, with sessions ranging from heritage restoration, to route maintenance and biodiversity improvement. With the help of local railway heritage groups, these sessions will tie in with physical conservation projects along Marriott’s Way, including at the old City and Hellesdon Station sites, as well as providing an introduction to supporting the wildlife that has flourished along these disused lines. To register an interest or find out more, please contact Maddy Goodall on 01603 224287 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are involved with the organising of NWCF18, hosting events along the length of the trail throughout October this year.
We are currently in the process of gathering together walk leaders, so if you would like to be involved by leading an event for 2018's festival, please let us know.
Take a look at the information found at www.norfolkwalkingfestival.co.uk.
Since the platform clearance at Hellesdon Station last autumn, there hasn't been much work done at the old platform, except for the grinding out of tree stumps and some minor maintenance work.
Plans have been created to resurface the platform, repoint the brickwork, install a replica station sign, and reinstall the concrete milepost, among other things. This will all be made possible by working with contractors, Friends of Norwich City Station, and The Norwich Conservation Volunteers.
We have just taken delivery of the brand new replica M&GN bridge plates, so look out for them soon on a bridge near you!