Connecting Threads: Exploring our Footpaths is a pilot project to encourage people to explore the history of the footpaths in their parish. It is co-ordinated by CPRE Norfolk, as part of our Protect our Paths Campaign and is funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is supported by academics from the School of History at the University of East Anglia.
We were delighted when we heard that Reepham was one of only four Norfolk parishes selected to take part in this project – the others are Beachamwell, Horning and Thompson. Along with our Reepham colleague Helen Lindsay, we are organising and leading a range of activities in and around the town over the coming months. We will be researching footpath names, lost or changed routes and the origins of local footpaths. We will be encouraging Reepham people to explore their footpaths, liaising with schools and helping older residents recall their personal memories of using parish paths.
The project is in its early stages at present. Most importantly, we are recruiting a small team of volunteers to whom we can delegate aspects of research and outreach work. Building an active community around this project is the main challenge at present, and we intend to have several meetings and 'reconnaissance walks' together during the summer. By the time the school holidays are over, we hope to be able to have some activities – including led and guided walks, and perhaps some creative workshops – to offer to a wider public.
We are starting to blog on our activities at http://www.exploringourfootpaths.co.uk/reepham/. Please contact us if you are interested in any aspect of our work.