Paths for People

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: Sch of Social Sciences

Abstract

This research forms part of the Ramblers Cymru Paths for People project and considers the
impact of green corridors on individuals' everyday lives. The setting will be either Powys,
Rhondda Cynon Taff, Bridgend or Monmouthshire. The project aims to understand how
individuals and communities relate to their surroundings through the everyday activity of
walking. Further, it addresses issues of access and inclusion, and perceived changes in
landscapes and communities. How individuals experience space, place and mobility is
fraught with subjectivities often entangled with their identity. Mapping will be one of the
methods used to understand the interplay between identity, space, place and mobility. As
the project is in collaboration with Ramblers Cymru, there are some shared aims. These
include supporting individuals and council officials to rejuvenate seldom used footpaths;
helping to reclaim footpaths through raising awareness of powers and rights; involvement
with volunteer groups who maintain paths; and publishing of leaflets to publicise underused
footpaths. Below are the working title and research questions for the project.

The research will improve Ramblers Cymru's understanding of how individuals connect with
existing green corridors and enable the organisation to make evidence-based decisions,
informed by the study. In addition, this study will contribute an understanding of how
individuals and communities connect to green corridors to the academic literature. Whilst
walking has been researched in the space and place literature (Baugh, 2010; Bates and Rhys-
Taylor, 2017; Kanellopoulou, 2017; van Eck and Pijpers, 2017; Edensor and Andrews, 2019;
Lamb, Gallagher and Knox, 2019) this is usually in the urban context and there is a sparsity
of evidence on green spaces and walking in green corridors, specifically. Furthermore, this
research is unique as it will be undertaken in Wales, where few walking studies have been
conducted. In the mobilities literature, Cresswell et al., (2016), has called for researchers to
turn their attention away from the "rich-north" and the much studied elite mobilities.
Whilst this project is still focused on the "rich-north", walking as a mode of travel is not the
reserve of the elite. In this way the research heeds the call of Cresswell for a broader
understanding of mobility. Finally, my research will also contribute methodologically, as it
will help develop sensory and multimodal methods.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P00069X/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2434193 Studentship ES/P00069X/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2024 Robert Stuart MATHLIN