The concept of ‘Greenways’ was officially introduced by the Countryside Agency (now part of Natural England) in 1998 as:
a network of largely off-road routes connecting people to facilities and open spaces in and around towns, cities and the countryside. They are for use by people of all abilities on foot, bike or horseback, for commuting, play or leisure.
Greenways link to other networks for non-motorised users, such as the National Cycle Network, towpaths beside inland waterways, national trails and other rights of way.
So how well do the Greenway routes in Farnham meet these criteria?
In terms of being off-road:
- 66% of the 2.4km of Scholars Greenway is off-road with almost all the rest on lightly trafficked roads such as Potters Gate and Long Garden Way.
- for the 3km of Weyside Greenway, 70% of the route is off-road and, again, the on-road sections like Red Lion Lane support low volumes of low speed motor traffic.
As far as connecting open spaces in and around Farnham Town Centre, the proposed Greenway network would link to open spaces:
- along the River Wey east of the town centre;
- Borelli Walk;
- Gostrey Meadow;
- Bishops Meadow west of the town centre;
- Farnham Park;
- the playing fields at Monkton Lane, just outside Weybourne.
Links to other networks would be include:
- National Cycle Network Route 22 (London to Portsmouth);
- the North Downs Way (to the English Channel through Kent);
- St Swithuns Way (to Winchester);
- the Christmas Pie Trail (leading to Guildford and the Blackwater Valley Route).
The Greenways would connect up the people of Farnham to the majority of the Town’s facilities (see ‘Benefits of Greenways for Farnham’).
On every single criterion in the official Natural England definition
of Greenways, this network is a perfect fit.