AAP in Wales

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The situation in Wales was also briefly looked at particularly from the point of view of comparisons with the Scottish situation given that both countries had a devolved government.

Three examples of APP related projects were chosen to reflect the similarities in scale and type of APP approach.

Access Authority led

  
  See www.visitmerthyr.co.uk/trails/rights-of-way/adopt-a-path.aspx for further information.
   

The example found was the AAP scheme organised by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council in South Wales. This is a relatively standard scheme with many similarities to access authority led schemes in Scotland and England. However, the scheme organisers do highlight the need to include urban routes and not just concentrate on the more traditional countryside Rights of Way.

Wales-wide Organisation led

Keep Wales Tidy has some similarities to the Scottish equivalent Keep Scotland Beautiful. However, what is of particular interest in a AAP context are elements of the organisations Tidy Towns initiative. This is very much a partnership between local authorities and volunteers to improve the quality of their local environment. Tidy Towns is all about direct action and the delivery of results. It has been a huge success. The Tidy Towns Report for 2008-11 gives some very impressive statistics including that since 2008 1,225 community volunteer groups have been established and 33,750 volunteers have donated both their time and labour. The initiative has good local and national government support with 24 Project Officers across Wales and the current Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development actively ‘leading from the front!

    
  Much of the effort has been directed at path adoption and improvements with an impressive range of     achievements and benefits given in the Tidy Towns Report. Further research is likely to yield some additional useful lessons for the Scottish situation particularly in urban areas such as those covered by the CSGN.

 

Through the Tidy Towns Project grants for items such as tools and other equipment and training can be obtained by constituted community groups who demonstrate a commitment to tackling environmental projects. The umbrella Keep Wales Tidy has set up its own community group insurance scheme specifically for groups working on the Tidy Towns project. This avoids much of the negative perceptions about insurance and liability when working for a voluntary community group.

National Government led

A Walking and Cycling Action Plan for Wales 2009 – 2013. A key success of this plan has been the way it has been developed to delivery the objectives and actions of a number of Assembly Government strategies in a well thought out, co-ordinated approach.

One of the themes of the Plan is:

‘Sustainable Travel encouraged via better Walking and Cycling Infrastructure – To create safe, attractive and convenient infrastructure for pedestrian and cycle travel.’

 

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