From Canterbury to Godmersham
WHAT WE DID:
The Great Stour Way is a surfaced multi-user path – for use by walkers, cyclists and wheelchair users – alongside the Great Stour between Canterbury and Godmersham.
KSCP worked for many years to bring about this important sustainable transport link. Establishing the first phase of the path, from Canterbury to Chartham, was an aim written into our very first business plan when KSCP was set up, in 1993. In 2011 this stretch was finally surfaced along its entire length and launched as the Great Stour Way. Since then a second phase, between Chartham and Godmersham, has been opened.
The timeline below shows our progress over the years.
KSCP helped to tarmac the first 400m stretch of the path on land owned by Robert Brett & Sons, starting at Station Road, Chartham, for disabled people to access the riverside. This was achieved using European funding.
KSCP volunteers planted 1000 shrubs on the opposite side of the river to screen Chartham Paper Mill, a sewage works and an electricity sub-station – this work was funded by Seeboard.
Chartham Parish Council and KCC provided an unbound surface on a further section, extending the path to Horton.
KSCP promoted the path from Chartham to Horton through work with partners in France – producing a joint publication.
KSCP secured funding from Brett Environment Trust for the building of a surfaced route for wheelchair users. We set up and chaired the first Working Group meeting to work towards this. Key members of the group were Canterbury City Council, KCC and Sustrans.
Agreement was reached that the path would be multi-user.
The Working Group organised a well attended consultation event.
KSCP secured further funding from Sustrans and commissioned ecological surveys of the proposed route.
Planning application agreed.
Construction of the route started by Kent Highway Services (KCC).
KSCP used some of its European funding to build part of the route.
KSCP volunteers installed bird boxes, built an otter holt, sowed wildflower seed along the edge of the path and started on building a sustainable erosion barrier in the river at the Chartham end of the path. This was paid for with European funding.
Following consultation, the path was named the Great Stour Way.
The route is launched on May 21st.
KSCP produced a leaflet, interpretive panels and sculptural seating, with the involvement of local schoolchildren.
KSCP supported a KCC Public Rights of Way application for funding to extend the path to Godmersham.
Work on the Chartham to Godmersham section starts.
The Great Stour Way is a major addition to the sustainable transport infrastructure of the Stour Valley. It enables journeys on foot and by bike and (in combination with the railway) encourages people to make journeys between Ashford and Canterbury and/or the villages between in more environmentally friendly ways. It is also an excellent recreational resource and enables disabled access to the countryside and riverside landscapes and habitats. Habitat enhancements made as part of the construction will bring benefits for wildlife.
The major funders of the project were KCC and Sustrans through the ‘Links to Schools Programme’ . Other major partners included Robert Brett and Sons, Canterbury City Council, Kent Enterprise Trust, Spokes and Chartham Parish Council.
Download Great Stour Way leaflet (PDF 2MB)