CHILDREN have been having a wild time outdoors thanks to the walking, cycling and wheeling opportunities created by the Bee Network.
Enhancements to an off-road path and a new crossing at Mossley Road have improved access to Chadwick Dam, through Ashton and Stalybridge, and connections between residential areas and Tameside Hospital.
Pupils at two neighbouring schools have enjoyed story walks that made the most of the new facilities.
The events were facilitated and supported by Tameside Council, Transport for Greater Manchester and Ridgehill Big Local Enterprises, a not-for-profit social enterprise that leases and manages the land to benefit the community.
Simon the Storyteller read the classics “Where The Wild Things Are” and “The Gruffalo” to classes from Inspire Academy, part of Victorious Academies Trust, and Silver Springs Primary Academy, part of Great Academies Education Trust, making the most of the natural surroundings as he led pupils through the beauty spot.
The new network also enables families to make sustainable journeys to and from school.
Silver Springs Primary Academy Principal Deborah Mason said: “It’s great for the children to be able to get outdoors and make the most of these facilities with healthy and educational activities. And the Bee Network gives families the option to cycle or ride to and from school.”
Inspire Academy Principal Louise Armstrong said: “Our pupils really enjoyed taking part in the story walks, which is a great way of doing something educational and entertaining in the scenic outdoors. It’s fantastic to have Chadwick Dam and the Bee Network route on our doorstep, which is of huge benefit to families using it to cycle and walk to school.”
Councillor Jan Jackson, Tameside Council’s Executive Member for Planning, Transport and Connectivity and a Stalybridge North ward councillor, said: “It’s lovely that the children were having so much fun while taking part in inspirational activities in the fresh air.
“Chadwick Dam has beautiful scenery and I’d encourage everyone to pay a visit. The Bee Network running through it provides people with a more sustainable travel option for short journeys and is just one of the many improvements we’re making to our walking and cycling infrastructure across Tameside.”
Bat boxes have also been installed at Chadwick Dam and picnic benches positioned in a wildflower sensory garden.
Greater Manchester’s Bee Network will provide a 1,800 mile, joined up cycling and walking network across the city-region to connect every neighbourhood and community and make it easier for people to get around on foot or by bike. It’s funded by The Mayor’s Challenge Fund (MCF) with £160million being invested across Greater Manchester. Find out more at www.tameside.gov.uk/MCF