Trent Valley Long Distance Footpath Feasibility Study

Nick Davies, Richard Weston, Les Lumsdon

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


The report presents an overview of market potential and demand for a proposed long distance walking trail along the River Trent from its source at Biddulph Moor in the Staffordshire Moorlands through the East Midlands to its confluence with the River Ouse where it becomes The Humber. The proposed route is 166 miles (284 km) in length and offers the walker in search of ‘soft adventure’ a ten-day walking holiday. It has the potential to become a major sustainable tourism product as it is within relatively easy reach of 6 million residents. The following key conclusions are drawn: Evaluation of the market and discussions with practitioners indicate that the River Trent offers considerable potential as a cross regional walking route for both local people and visitors alike. Combining the river’s rich natural heritage and its history as an inland navigation makes it an attractive proposition for visitors in search of nature and heritage. There are opportunities to make the route a very sustainable tourism product with a distinctive feature of nature reserves along every section. The market for the proposed walking route comprises three core segments, from the local casual stroller, to day walkers and the long-distance walkers. Each segment has different needs and will impact differently at various locations. It is estimated that the proposed route will attract 250,000 walkers and generate £862,639. In terms of additionality or new spend as a result of the route being developed, is estimated at £512,748 (taking into account the multiplier effect), creating or sustaining 10 jobs. These figures represent a lower benchmark; as the route matures there is likely to be an increase in new spend into the areas around the River Trent through which the walk passes. By far the most numerous will be local residents and visitors taking a short stroll from home or holiday destination. The strategy indicates ways in which these segments can best be managed to minimise social and environmental impact. In two community surveys residents were asked how much they would value such a route, the average figure was £12.69 per year. Eight key principles of sustainability underpin the marketing strategy that emphasises gradual growth, detailed monitoring and liaison with local communities. This will strengthen the route’s position in the long term. The marketing of the route is be set out in a three year plan which outlines the contributions and responsibilities of partners along the route, from the public, private and voluntary sectors.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Central Lancashire
Commissioning bodySimon Holt Marketing Services
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


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