New handbook says paths can be ‘wildlife highways’


Sustrans, the charity that created the National Cycle Network, has published Britain’s first ever handbook on how to manage traffic-free cycle and walking routes – or ‘greenways’ – for both people and wildlife.

The Greenway Management Handbook was launched online this week, with a limited number of hard copies available.

Paths 'have potential to become wildlife highways'

It provides an introduction to maintaining hard and soft infrastructure along greenways, with advice on how to improve the management of routes to create wildlife corridors.

Sustrans said the book is for anyone who manages cycle paths, bridleways, towpaths, disused railway corridors, forest roads or any other linear space.

David Watson, ecologist at Sustrans, said: ‘As more and more people take up cycling, traffic free cycle paths are increasingly popular as commuting and leisure, but they also have great potential to become wildlife highways too. Nature needs paths to help connect habitats, particularly within built-up urban areas, and good management practice helps to give wildlife a chance.

‘If you are a land manager with a traffic-free path, this book will help ensure you’re doing everything you can to look after people and nature.’

The handbook provides practical advice and examples of best practice for local authorities, professional land managers, landowners and groups of volunteers on the full range of issues when managing a traffic-free path for the public and nature.

In a step-by-step guide, the handbook features chapters on topics such as managing access, anti-social behaviour and signs and interpretation, as well as how to manage different habitats, problem species and path surfaces.


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