Vote for “Greater Brockley” in Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood Award

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Vote for “Greater Brockley” in Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood Award

The Ramblers has an annual competition to find “Britain’s Best Walking neighbourhood.” Crofton Park resident Jack Cornish put in a bid this year, focused on what he described as ‘greater Brockley’  (broadly the area traversed by the 3 Peaks walk – Brockley, Ladywell, Crofton Park). He did a great nomination, which was endorsed by Sophie McGeevor on behalf of the Council, and it’s made the shortlist.

  • Ramblers launches public vote to find Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood – Greater Brockley on final shortlist of ten
  • Making walking the easy choice in urban areas helps tackle pollution and improve physical and mental health of communities, says walking charity

Greater Brockley in South East London is in the running for Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood 2019, as the Ramblers reveals their final shortlist of the ten most walkable urban areas across England, Scotland and Wales. The public vote to decide the winner opened 28th May 2019.

At a time when more than a third of people are still not meeting recommended activity levels and concerns about air pollution levels hit the headlines on a weekly basis, the Ramblers is calling on local authorities to help tackle these problems by creating towns and cities designed for walking.

Their annual award celebrates areas where positive steps have been taken to create green, welcoming and walkable neighbourhoods that put people – rather than cars – at their heart, leading to increased activity, and the health, social and economic benefits this brings to individuals and communities, while also combating poor air quality.

The vibrant, leafy borough of Greater Brockley in Lewisham is a great example to other London neighbourhoods of how to encourage residents to walk more. It made the shortlist thanks to its well-integrated walking network linking up a wide variety of green spaces including four major parks, and series of innovative conservation projects. The vibrant mix of street art and things to do in the area adds to its community-friendly feel. Many of the main walking routes in and around Brockley pass through beautiful parks and past independent shops, bars, pubs and restaurants, which add to the community atmosphere.
Vanessa Griffiths, chief executive of the Ramblers, said: “We want everyone to be able to enjoy the benefits of walking and being outdoors every day, wherever they live and work. Our finalists this year are fantastic examples of how communities and local authorities can work together to create neighbourhoods that are designed around people, making them safe and enjoyable to walk around. We want to councils and developers across the country to follow their example and help us create a country that is truly designed for walking.”

Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, said: “: “Lewisham is proud to have the best green spaces in London. Last year our parks were ranked best in the capital by Parks for London. We are committed to making Lewisham greener, so everyone can enjoy the health and well-being benefits of walking.

“We are launching our first healthy neighbourhood and encouraging residents to switch to more environmentally-friendly forms of transport. We’re working hard to transform communities so they are cleaner and healthier. More people getting active means they can really discover their local area, which is also good news for the small businesses that are the lifeblood of our local economy. Brockley is a leading contender for Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood and I encourage everyone to give this exciting part of Lewisham their vote.”

Other pedestrian-friendly features and initiatives that made Greater Brockley stand out among the nominations include:

  • A street tree sponsorship scheme run by Street Trees for Living, through which residents and Lewisham council have worked together to plant and maintain 620 trees since 2011
  • Low level planting separating pavements from roads, offering a better experience for pedestrians and a green and pleasant streetscape
  • Traffic calming measures, including filters to stop through-traffic on a number of roads and a borough-wide 20 mph speed limit.

The Ramblers is also asking councillors to sign up to their Charter for Walkable Neighbourhoods, which sets out five things that councils can do to make neighbourhoods better for walking. One of the top priorities is to make neighbourhoods greener, with the ambition that everyone should have a quality park or green space within five minutes’ walk of their doorstep.

The ten areas in the running for Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood are:
  • Chorlton and Whalley Range, Greater Manchester
  • Bow and Three Mills, London
  • Greater Brockley, London
  • Falkirk
  • The Deepings, Lincolnshire
  • Aberystwyth
  • Cambridge city centre
  • Elgin
  • Milton Keynes
  • Brighton city centre
To find out more about the ten shortlisted areas and to vote for your favourite before the closing date of 30 June, visit: www.ramblers.org.uk/vote.
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I am a retired carer with nine years of experience as layout editor of a local magazine in Somerset. I now live in Catford with my partner.

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