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Helping visitors explore Delapré Park

Helping visitors explore Delapré Park

Published November 23, 2023

What we did

In August 2021, we opened a signposted 3km walking route around Delapré Park to help visitors explore everything that the park had to offer. During the project we asked people what the design of the signs should look like, monitored the number of people walking the route, and asked for people’s experiences of using the route and the park.

At the start of the project, 266 people surveyed said that signs needed to include arrows, a map, distance of the route, information about the area, and emergency contact information. People thought the signs would help them explore the park with more confidence, particularly for first time visitors.

I like to explore paths that are signposted and then that gives me the confidence to explore further knowing I can find the pathway back.

The new signposted walking route being officially opened. Photo: Kirsty Edmonds

What we found

During August 2021 to August 2022, we monitored how many people were using the signposted walking route. 23% of people walking along the route were following the new signposts, with the signposts mainly helping new visitors to the park.

People told us that the new signs were “easier to navigate for first timers” and “the walking distance being signposted really helps to decide whether to take the walk or not.”

The signposts also proved useful for those with limited mobility of health conditions and revealed that more places to sit are needed along the footpaths, so people can rest.

If you knew you weren’t going off course and you knew the length of what you’d got to go so you don’t overstretch yourself…that would be brilliant, to have that, it would encourage me to go further.

ParticipantWalk route research project

One of the newly installed walking route signs. Photo: Kirsty Edmonds

What happens now?

Thanks to you sharing your views in this research, West Northamptonshire Council and Delapré Abbey have secured funding to upgrade the signposts and some of the footpaths in Delapré Park. Both organisations will be asking for community input into the design and positioning of the new signposts.

We have also shared what we found with local Friends of Parks groups, charities, West Northamptonshire Council, public events, and other organisations to help inform them about what they should do in the future to improve their local parks.

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