New walking routes to open in Norwich
PUBLISHED: 06:00 09 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:21 09 October 2019
The first of a series of new walking routes has opened in Norwich today - promising to show the city in a new light.
Taking in sculptures, rose gardens and a rockery, the waymarked walks cover the 360-acre campus of the University of East Anglia (UEA) and are the first of its kind at the university.
Each walk covers different sights and sounds with the first route themed on ecology and nature. It explores areas home to around 6,000 different species of plant and animal - including 127 which are endangered.
There are also plans for a 'claim to fame route' which will mark out the Marvel Avengers film headquarters which was shot at the Sainsbury Centre of Visual Arts in 2014.
Adam Garford, head of sport and physical activity development at UEA, who is behind the initiative, said: "We're extremely lucky to have a beautiful campus with wide open spaces, forest area, a river and even our very own broad. As a university we've never had any formal route before and we hope this will not only inspire staff and students, but also local people in Norwich and beyond."
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The news comes after a recent survey of students and staff at the UEA revealed that one in three people wanted more walking and running routes marked around campus.
Third year psychology student Shakila Binte Omar said: "I'm someone that appreciates having time to myself amidst a very active and busy lifestyle and walking is always a great way for me to tune out and find 'calm in the crazy'.
"Although the UEA campus is a very concrete structure, it is nestled amongst beautiful nature and being able to take movement breaks within this space between my hectic schedule is brilliant."
And the well-being of the local community, as well as staff and students, was taken into account when the plans for the route were conceived.
UEA's Dr Sarah Hanson who is an expert on the benefits of walking, said: "Walking in green spaces is one of the 'best buys' in terms of helping your mental and physical health.
"It is especially good if you walk with others, helping with the social isolation that people of all ages are increasingly feeling."
The waymarked trails have been created by Norfolk County Council and will link up to the Strava running app.