Within Launceston Community Development Trust (LCDT), we want to work with others to ensure that Launceston has access to footpaths and multi-user trail networks and the open green space that it deserves. A core aim of our Active Launceston project is to increase the levels of activity in our community to improve physical and mental health and wellbeing. As well as preserving and enhancing our sports and leisure facilities, never before has so much value been placed on natural assets and unrestricted access to the countryside for the purpose of recreation. Green spaces are restorative, uplifting and essential for good physical and mental health as well as increasing our town’s appeal as a place to live and to visit. We wish to work with farmers and landowners to increase the provision of appropriate public access to their land. With more opportunity to interact with the countryside, families will also be able to learn so much more about Launceston’s farming heritage and biodiversity and share in this sense of identity.
For a town that is surrounded by a rural landscape, our public footpath provision in Launceston is limited and highly fragmented and does not connect different areas of the community: this increases the reliance on cars both for local travel as well as journeying to outdoor leisure opportunities further afield. It is important that we change this.
Our work is currently focussed on developing a network that is fit for purpose – reinstating lost paths and mapping out new routes with multiple access points to link the town with key areas such as Pennygillam and the Forest for Launceston site, Kensey Valley and St. Stevens. Whilst championing this cause alongside our partners (local and national organisations), we are welcoming discussions and partnerships with landowners to ensure that we understand what barriers we need to overcome to achieve our vision. It is important that mutual respect between landowners and the general public can be improved and we want to see farmers incentivised for getting on board and their costs and impact on livelihood mitigated as much as possible by tapping into the significant resources and creativity that the community can offer.