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Southall Wellbeing Way aims to get more people involved with the Grand Union Canal in Southall and improve their health and local biodiversity

Residents across Southall are set to benefit from a new two-year project that aims to link together park and green spaces in Southall via the Grand Union Canal and which it aims to improve well being for locals as well as visitors to the area and biodiversity.

Launched on Monday (25 July 2022), the Southall Grand Union Canal Wellbeing Way project sees a number of organisations Canal & River Trust, Ealing Council and its Let’s Go Southall programme, and housing association Catalyst working together to get Southall residents involved and engaged to improve their well being as well as making the area better for nature.

The Southall Wellbeing Way will connect Spikes Bridge Park on the Grand Union Canal Paddington Arm to Glade Lane Canalside Park and the Hanwell Lock Flight. The route will also link Southall Recreation Ground, Bixley Field, Havelock Canalside space and Norwood Top Lock.

Ros Daniels, Canal & River Trust regional director for London & South East, said: “In urban areas, perhaps more than anywhere else, canal towpaths provide breathing space and a chance to connect with nature. The Southall Wellbeing Way will encourage more people to get to know their local canal and enjoy the benefits of being by water. I’m delighted that with funding in place we are now able to start delivering this project and opening up this green and blue space to communities who may not have used it in the past and provide towpath improvements which will mean it is more accessible all year round.”

Ealing Council says the £1m two-year funding of the project will help both residents and nature.

Councillor Peter Mason, leader of Ealing Council said: “This project will link a section of the Grand Union Canal to a range of parks in Southall, meaning that local people will have easier and quicker access to vital green spaces and nature on their doorstep. High quality, accessible canals and towpaths are also really important networks for local people, particularly those using more active forms of travel.”

Councillor Deirdre Costigan, cabinet member for climate action added: “Cycling and walking are fantastic ways to get around, keep fit and build exercise into the daily routine – all whilst helping to reduce carbon emissions and fight the climate crisis, which has been brought into even sharper focus with the recent extreme temperatures. Like many, I discovered myself during lockdown how wonderful walking along the canal can be, full of wildlife, shady trees and gorgeous views. These significant improvements we have secured for the canal and towpath network in Southall will make it easier, quicker and more pleasant to move around the local area for residents, whether they are getting on a bike, going for a walk or just stepping out to enjoy the nature on their doorstep.”

Nicola Wheeler, head of community investment for housing organisation Catalyst, said: “We are inviting local people to join us in shaping and delivering this fantastic project – whether it’s putting forward ideas for outdoor activities, helping us design the enhanced canal-side spaces or volunteering to take on a stewardship role in future. By working together, we can maximise the results of our efforts now and secure the best possible long-term benefits for the community and the environment.”

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