Strangely the area boundary for this Trust doesn't include the fields to the East that cover what were once the carriage sidings on the old railway. This is despite the fact that Woodlands Ward boundary (which can be found by zooming in on this map) runs along the route of the old line which is on the eastern edge of the fields.
As someone keen to develop the old railway line as a high quality route for walkers and cyclists, the fact that the Track forms the boundary of the some of the Borough's wards means that it's been hard to engage some of Borough Councillors for these wards in helping to improve the Track (which in this area is currently far too bumpy and far too narrow) because it isn't really in their patch.
But, if you go onto St Leonard's Crescent, where paths lead out across the fields, you'll notice that the good citizens of Barrowcliff have been voting with their feet and leaving the traces behind on the grass. These "desire lines" give a clear indication of where people want to walk, ride their bikes or push their buggies and the routes they pick out are clearly of local significance.
View from the official path clearly showing the two desire lines.
The one on the left goes to Maple Drive,
the other cuts off the corner to join the Track heading south.
A Google Earth image of the area not only shows the desire lines are a constant feature (and not just an artifact of a long spell of dry weather) but also the rather peculiar layout of the existing tarmac paths.
We know that low levels of physical activity are causing a major public health crisis. We know that poorer people are less likely to be physically active than richer people and we know that the best way to get enough exercise is for it to be part of your everyday life. This means making short journeys on foot or by bike.
We know that improving the Cinder Track, especially in urban areas like this, would encourage more people to walk or cycle, improve their health and reduce the harms caused by traffic. So why does the Big Local area exclude these fields and the old railway line?