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184 MILES

• Rises in the Western Cotswolds.


• An ever changing, diverse countryside.
• Passing villages in Gloucestershire and
Wiltshire.
• Through historic cities such as Windsor and
Oxford.
• Past large cities, Swindon, Reading and
Staines.
• and finally of course through the Capital.
THAMES PATH TIME LINE
1800s

The Thames Commissioners were responsible for establishing the tow path back in
the late 18th Century, at a time where the river was playing a crucial role within the
new canal systems. However the Thames is no canal but a living River, and every so
often the tow path met some obstacles either natural or man-made. To get around
this the commissioners would change the tow path to the opposite side of the bank.
When this happened the commissioners provided a navigation ferry with a ferry
crossing point.
1930s

Canal system fallen


into a state of
disrepair.

However!

Thames Councils
get together with the
idea of utilising the
Thames Path.
1940s

• After World War II the desire to keep areas of Britain special, to protect these areas,
and give something back to the returning servicemen of WWII. In September 1947,
the ‘Hobhouse Committee’ recommended the establishment of long distance and
coastal routes (now called National Trails in England and Wales).

• The six recommended inland paths were The Pennine Way, The Ridgeway, The
Pilgrims Way – known as the North Downs way, The South Downs Way, Offa’s Dyke
Path and the Thames Path.

• National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, sections 50A - 55.

• The first such route, the Pennine Way was opened in 1965.
1950s-1990s
Lobbying to create The Thames Path
1996
NATIONAL TRAILS
Now
Natural England’s
New Deal for National Trails.
Centred around forming a
Partnership of interested organisations
Environment Agency
Highway Authorities
River Thames Society
River Thames Alliance
Chilterns AONB
North Wessex Downs AONB
Thames Landscape Strategy
Transport for London
Thames Estuary Partnership
(growing list)
The 4 E’s
Experience - enable as many people as possible to enjoy a wide
variety of walking and riding experiences along National Trails and
through the English landscape

Enhancement - make constant improvement to the Trail and its


associated routes. Contribute to the enhancement of the landscape,
nature and historic features within the trail corridor.

Engagement - build and sustain a community of interest in caring for


the Trail and the landscape through which it passes.

Economy - creates opportunities for local businesses to benefit from the use of
Trails.
THAMES PATH WEBSITE
www.nationaltrail.co.uk/thames-path
WEBSITE HITS
Average hits 50,000 per month
THAMES PATH ON-LINE MARKET
RESEARCH

Would you recommend the Thames Path to


other users?
What did you enjoy most about your
visit
How much did you spend per visit to
the Thames Path
Did you use public transport to and
from the trail?
WHY WALK?

WALK THIS WAY


‘While all the forms of physical activity such as sports,
gym-type exercise, games, running and dance are
beneficial, walking has the greatest chance of making
the greatest difference to the greatest number of people’

What stops us from walking?


• Problems in the quality of the physical environment.
• Lack of information about opportunities to walk
• Psycho-social barriers – for a variety of reasons many people
are not keen to walk.
BENEFITS TO BEING ACTIVE
CONDITION RISK REDUCTION
All Cause Mortality 20-35%
Heart Disease & 20-35%
Stroke
Type 2 Diabetes 35-50%
Colon Cancer 30-50%
Breast Cancer 20%
Hip Fracture 36-68%
Depression 20-30%
Alzheimer’s Disease 60%

Obesity is responsible for 9000 premature deaths each year in England


and reduces life expectancy by, on average nine years.
(That’s more than the population of Cricklade and Lechlade – The first
Towns on The Thames!)
National Research shows that for every £1 invested in
increasing walking and improving public access to green
spaces £7 is saved in NHS expenditure through Health and
Well being benefits

Former Chief Medical Officer


for England
‘If a medication existed
which had a similar effect to
physical activity, it would be
regarded as a ‘wonder drug’
or a miracle cure’
FUTURE

• To be an inclusive trail for all and help break


down barriers that stop us from walking.

• To get as many people out enjoying their


river trail.

• We want to engage with businesses along


the trail to see how we can work together to
help future proof the trail.
JULY 2016