1. Connecting Communities through Action
2. River Valley Connections
3. Transforming the Landscape
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We have made the landscape more physically accessible through walking, cycling and paddling improvements. We have also told the story of the valley through digital technology, as well as more traditional interpretation.
The Trent Valley Way is a long distance walking route along the River Trent from source to estuary. Our project waymarked and promoted the Trent Valley Way within the Transforming the Trent Valley landscape. The walking route acts as a spine along the river valley, connecting heritage, places and communities.
This walk links up with other access routes including footpaths, cycle ways and the National Forest Way, as well as some of our heritage projects. Along its length are a series of circular walking routes connect to key cultural, industrial and natural heritage sites.
Information about the Trent Valley Way from source to sea can be found on the Trent Rivers Trust website.
Project Lead: Trent Rivers Trust
Canoe trails enable communities to enjoy the natural and built-up environments of the landscape by reconnecting people to the ‘blue space’ within the Trent Valley. Canoe Trails are a free resource that give paddlers all the information needed to set out on a canoeing adventure on their own, with family or with friends. They are a great way for people with some canoeing experience to find new and exciting places to paddle and experience the native wildlife and natural heritage up-close.
We have installed new infrastructure including launch and landing points at key locations.
Local canoe clubs have offered taster sessions at our events to encourage people to take up the sport.
Project Lead: British Canoeing
This project has altered from its original project plan.
Originally, we planned to waymark and route map a series of cycle routes in the Transforming the Trent Valley landscape designed to offer various tours of the landscape taking in both the natural and cultural heritage of the Trent Valley. The routes varied in distance and difficulty and offered both on-road and off-road cycling. However, when it came to deliver the project is became clear that the routes, which had been previously identified, were being impacted by current or future development or fitted into new schemes.
It was therefore concluded that the available funding would be better used to improve cycle provision in Burton-upon-Trent. A number of cycle routes were being improved, towpath upgrades were in development and a drive to offer better accessibility for sustainable travel was underway. We have therefore installed a cycle hub at the Shobnall Leisure Centre.
What is a Cycle Hub?
The cycle hub is a lit and covered cycle shelter with provision for 12 bikes. It also has a pump and bike repair stand complete with tools to aid with basic bike maintenance. We have partnered with Everyone Active at the Shobnall Leisure Centre to install this new asset. The location was chosen as the leisure centre has ample parking for families looking to park and then take a cycle trip and is also a good destination for cyclists on a cycle tour. It is connected to the major cycle routes to and through the town, including the canal towpath. Additionally, the leisure centre works with community groups to offer cycle training, reaching disadvantaged groups and those who do not typically cycle. They have a range of accessible bikes so children and adults with various physical disabilities can enjoy the sport.
Project Lead: Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and East Staffordshire Borough Council
The 250-year-old Trent & Mersey Canal provides the historic and cultural spine to the Trent Valley. Improvements to surfacing, signage and access for walkers, cyclists, canoeists and boaters have reconnected communities with both this historic environment and the wider landscape.
This access improvement scheme has upgraded sections of the towpath that were highlighted through our Access Audit. These improvements will be to the benefit of multiple users including people with disabilities, walkers, cyclists and anglers.
Project Lead: Canal and River Trust
This project has altered from its original design.
Originally, we intended to complete the cycle link between National Cycle Network route 54 from Lichfield to the west, and the National Memorial Arboretum, Croxall and wider landscape to the east of the Transforming the Trent Valley landscape. The route crosses the A38 via the A513 road bridge, connecting to the existing cycleway before taking an off-road route and emerging opposite the National Memorial Arboretum. The purpose was to enable local communities to visit this popular memorial sustainably and provide improved access to the greater countryside.
Unfortunately, complications were identified during the technical design stage that significantly increased the cost of delivering the scheme. Staffordshire County Council remain committed to delivering the scheme in the long-term, but are unable to complete the works during the timescales of Transforming the Trent Valley. As a result, we have paused the technical design for this scheme and have moved focus to other initiatives that can be delivered within the timeframe remaining.
We instead worked with Staffordshire County Council and the Canal and River Trust to support two towpath improvement schemes.
Fradley Junction to Kings Bromley
Staffordshire County Council upgraded the towpath between the Fradley Junction and Kings Bromley marina to a standard suitable for walking and cycling. The contribution from Transforming the Trent Valley ensured that the entire length could be upgraded to a suitable standard. This upgrade links to the section of towpath upgrade completed by Canal and River Trust in 2020 through the Transforming the Trent Valley Scheme.
Canal and River Trust upgraded a section of towpath through Burton-upon-Trent as part of a wider initiative. Transforming the Trent Valley contributed towards the biodiversity improvements associated with the resurfacing. This scheme will make a big difference to the communities in Burton and links together a number of our projects. The resurfaced towpath passes Shobnall Leisure Centre, where we have recently installed a cycling hub and provided a community grant for a women’s cycling club. New cycle routes planned across the town mean cyclists will more easily access the Burton Washlands.
Project Lead: Canal and River Trust and Staffordshire County Council
Across all of our projects, we have interpreted the story of the Trent Valley and presented this through both physical installations and modern technology.
Information boards and artwork enable us to tell the story of key sites across the landscape and help to improve visitor experience. Utilising modern technology, we are providing information, videos and images virtually, and are creating an online 360° experience with a touring mobile display.
Project Lead: Staffordshire Wildlife Trust
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