We are a community group, under the umbrella of Battle Local Action Planning Group (BLAPG), formed to explore the feasibility of building an all-weather pathway around the recreation ground in North Trade Road that could be used for sports training, exercise and leisure.
Overview of Battle Health Pathway project
The project group saw the potential for:
• A traffic-free route for everyone
• Parents with pushchairs enjoying a sociable stroll or even a jog in pleasant surroundings away from traffic fumes
• Toddlers riding their trikes and scooters safely away from traffic
• Older children able to learn to ride their bikes without having to travel to Bexhill or Hastings, gaining skills before cycling on the road
• Teenagers ‘hanging out’ in the recreation ground without getting muddy
• Older people enjoying a companionable walk along the pathway with their two or four legged friends
• People able to walk or run before or after work, perhaps stopping to use the exercise equipment
The recreation ground in North Trade Road is on a slope and has far reaching views, but currently lacks the facilities often found in a municipal park. In particular, there are virtually no pathways on which to walk or run and none to cycle on. The muddy grass is unusable for many months each year and it is not an easy place for people with mobility issues to get about to enjoy a green space and meet other people.
The roads in Battle are often congested and the pavements are narrow, particularly in the town centre area. This can make walking and jogging hazardous, both from the point of view of personal safety, but also pollution. North Trade Road is used by students walking to local schools, so a pathway inside the recreation ground would provide a safe alternative. There is nowhere in Battle to teach children to ride a bicycle and many families travel to Bexhill or Hastings, which is impossible for some families due to finances, lack of mobility or for other practical reasons.
The Battle Health Pathway will provide connectivity and improve access to the recreation ground for the residents of Battle and the surrounding area. It will be used by people of all ages – walkers, runners, young cyclists, scooter users, people with mobility difficulties, people working to regain fitness and those with children in push-chairs.
Nature GardenThere will be a number of nature gardens with native plants and shrubs to enhance the recreation ground as a whole. The plants and features will be selected to create an attractive sensory areas with something to appreciate all year round.
Outdoor exercise equipment
There will be some pieces of outdoor exercise equipment grouped together for a sociable work out. The equipment will be varied to make it more interesting with the opportunity to work on different joints and muscles
Cycle skills area
Part of the project is a Cycle Skills or ‘pump track’ area, which is a purpose-built area where cyclists, rollerbladers and children’s scooter users can develop balance and technical skills away from traffic and pedestrians.
There will be a configuration of simple loops with bumps, and a more advanced section with more challenges for intermediate riders. It will provide a meeting place for young people, open at all times and an opportunity to exercise in the fresh air.
The idea of a cycling facility on the recreation ground isn’t new. In the 1950’s there was a bicycle speedway track at the bottom of the recreation ground (see photo)
More info here about the track and it’s riders