Continued Progress of Healthy New Town Programme

Following the Healthy New Town programme, Cherwell District Council have kept everyone active with a succession of summer exercise events and challenges.

Bicester Bike Day 2017, The Green Spaces Challenge, and the initiation of new Health Routes marks the continued progress since the Healthy New Town Launch in May.

Firstly, Bicester Bike Day was hosted at Pingle Fields on the 8th July where many families joined in the free activities.

Popular activities of the day were circulated on organisers’ social media profiles: Healthy Bicester, A2Dominion Community, Bicester Green Bike Recyclers, Bioregional, Cherwell District Council, and Team Extreme. The public showed their enjoyment of the many activities provided, including Le Tour de Bicester treasure hunt, Team Extreme’s Bike Show, and free bike maintenance offered by the local services of Bicester Green and Halfords UK.

Press coverage boasts ‘Record numbers attend the sixth annual Bicester Bike Day.’

Secondly, Cherwell District Council started ‘The Green Spaces Challenge’ to promote appreciation of outdoor exercising around Bicester this summer. The competition gives resident families a fun incentive to explore Bicester’s abundance of green spaces, and provides free resources to keep active.

A map of 11 green spaces around Bicester are being distributed in the Town centre during the summer. All those who complete the challenge of being active in each of the 11 spaces by the 4th of September, and post photos of themselves (walking, skipping, jogging, playing etc) on Facebook or Twitter tagging #HealthyBicester, will receive a Healthy Mug prize.

Cllr Barry Wood, leader of Cherwell District Council said: “Through this challenge, we are calling for more people to explore the many green spaces in Bicester and have fun outside. The Healthy New Town programme aims to make Bicester a better place to live, work and play and we want residents to feel part of it.

“Bicester has got a lot of nice footpaths, playgrounds, open spaces and outdoor gym equipment. We want Bicester residents to be aware of what is on hand for them. Getting outside and exploring the town’s green spaces is free and something the whole family can enjoy.”

To claim the Healthy Bicester mug and enter into a prize draw for a Fitbit and Bicester Leisure Centre family swim vouchers, residents need to email 11 photos picturing themselves in each green space to, specifying ‘the green space’ each photo has been taken at.

Finally, volunteer fitness coaches and enthusiasts have been scouted for promotion of the new Health Routes, funded by NHS England. These are due to be completed by the end of the summer. As part of the Healthy New Programme, the council aim for these routes to help residents gain access to green, social areas with the support of trained walking/running leaders.

The first line-painted 5km route travels around south-east Bicester, through open spaces like Langford Park, the community orchard, Jubilee Lake, and along Peregrine Way. The next health route will be painted in east Bicester, from Skimmingdish Lane to south of the railway line, with a further route planned for west Bicester, to include Bure Park. The routes have also been made to accommodate the physically disabled, and people with push chairs.

Cllr Barry Wood, Leader of The Cherwell District Council, commented: The council, through the Healthy New Town programme, is committed to providing residents with more tools to help them embark on regular exercise. This marked route is completely free to use and I am sure it will also bring opportunities for extra social activities as users can get together with friends or meet up with people along the way.”

For more information on becoming a Health Routes leader see here.


Lucy patchett
Author: Lucy patchett

Bicester Chamber