There are lots of free and meaningful things that we can all do every day that will improve our mental health and wellbeing. Walking is one of the easiest ways to improve our health, to connect to nature and our community. Being part of our community can help us feel less lonely and isolated. As we stride to the end of National Walking Month this May, we put a focus on one of our latest exciting initiatives just released with West Berkshire Council who are taking the movement of walking on a journey of 5 Ways of Wellbeing.

West Berkshire’s ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’ is encouraging residents and visitors, local communities and organisations to;

West Berkshire 5 Ways to Wellbeing Icon
  • Connect to communities and local groups
  • Be active in ways that work for you
  • Keep learning by embracing local educational and information centres
  • Give to others through volunteering and supporting community members
  • Take notice and practice mindfulness and stillness, embracing nature and our surroundings

Rich Historical Locations and Landscape

An area of rich historical heritage and stunning landscape, West Berkshire has a unique and interesting connection to London, located alongside the iconic River Thames. With recognisable landmarks dating back to the 12th century, like St Michael’s Church in Wash Common, this area of sights and stories is opening pathways to people of London and beyond with the release of eight newly updated walking maps! 

The maps cover right core regions of West Berkshire; Bradfield, Newbury, Mortimer, Sulham, Theale and Calcot, Tilehurst and Purley-on-Thames, Thatcham and Wash Common. Each locations’ map pinpoints landmarks and landscapes you can visit in the local area including:

  • Bradfields Telephone Information Centre
  • Newbury’s Donnington Castle
  • St Mary’s Church in Mortimer 
  • Sulham’s Wilder’s Folly
  • The Kennet and Avon Canal in Thatcham
  • Theale’s Garston Lock
  • The Water Tower in Tilehurst
  • Wash Common’s Falkland Memorial

With so many routes, rich history, rustic and raw landmarks to research, West Berkshire Council partnered with Groundwork London to create and deliver these accessible maps – both printed and interactive – to allow everyone to enjoy what West Berkshire has to offer

Creative Collaboration

Groundwork London’s GIS team, part of the wider GDS team of the Groundwork Federation, provides mapping and data management services across the UK, delivering projects to wider Groundwork Trusts and external clients alike. They specialise in the following areas:

  • Web mapping and spatial data visualisation
  • Spatial analysis and research
  • Story Maps

Groundwork London’s expert GIS team (Geographic Information System) collaborated with members of the marketing team to design the unique maps showcasing walkways, green spaces, landmarks and amenities to each specific area, integrating the 5 Ways to Wellbeing campaign into each location’s unique walking routes. This week they release all eight maps, available now on the West Berkshire website. You can follow the link(s) below to download the map of the location you’re looking to visit.

“Creating 8 walking maps for West Berkshire, promoting the Five Ways to Wellbeing, has been a rewarding journey for both the GIS and Communications teams. This project has highlighted the benefits of collaboratin between the GIS and Comms teams, as maps are effective communication tools. Moving forward, I hope the two teams can continue to collaborate to highlight Groundwork’s work through maps.”

Kristin from the GIS team was responsible for researching and pulling together the detailed maps;

West Berkshire's Newbury Walking Route Map GIS Design by Groundwork London

Focusing on the Wellbeing of London’s Communities

A number of our projects at Groundwork London have a focus on wellbeing, be it through supportive services or outdoor gardens. One thing is for certain – movement is indeed medicine and walking is a great place to start, and Londoners can get involved in many ways with our projects. Whether it’s applying for a project with Walking and Cycling Grants to support others into walking, joining a local walking group like visiting a local gardening space like Ashcroft Garden atop Livat Shopping Centre, walking can improve wellbeing in more ways than one.

Groundwork London invites all Londoners to join the campaign by Living Streets and discover the magic of walking. Exploring West Berkshire is a great place to start, to embrace nature and discover more about the historic landmarks to visit. You can share your walking moments on social media using the hashtag #magicofwalking or find out more on the website below.