Ashford Green Corridor
What is the Ashford Green Corridor?
Nine out of ten people in the UK live in towns and cities, so green spaces in urban areas are very important. They provide a pleasant, relaxing environment for people and habitats for wildlife.
Ashford is lucky to have a haven for people and wildlife, a green space that runs right through the town: the Ashford Green Corridor. The Green Corridor is made up of parks, recreation grounds and other green spaces alongside the rivers that flow through Ashford.
How did the Ashford Green Corridor come to be?
Ashford has been growing steadily since the early 19th century. As the town has expanded, land close to the rivers has not usually been built on, due to the risk of flooding because the Borough Council has protected it as green space.
The resulting undeveloped ‘fingers’ of land reach right into the heart of Ashford – together they form the Ashford Green Corridor.
The corridor connects areas, providing both people and wildlife with routes through the town and to the countryside beyond.
Why is the Green Corridor important?
Because the Green Corridor areas are right next to Ashford’s rivers, many of them hold floodwater, protecting homes and businesses. This is particularly important now because floods seem to be occurring more frequently.
The Green Corridor brings wildlife to the town – to your doorstep! Ashford’s rivers are surprisingly natural considering their urban surroundings, and are home for many wild plants and animals. Kingfishers, grass snakes, dragonflies and damselflies can all be seen. Ponds like the one at Bowen’s Field attract amphibians. Singleton Lake is a habitat for wetland birds and Buxford Meadow is a wet grassland with an enormous range of plants, insects and other species including water voles, although these delightful creatures are hard to spot as they are so secretive! It is because these habitats are so close to where people live that the Green Corridor has been designated as a Local Nature Reserve.
From the manors of Singleton and Buxford in the west, to Boys Hall Moat (a scheduled ancient monument) in the east, the Green Corridor is rich in heritage. Victoria Park, with its fountain and commemorative trees, the intriguingly named ‘Watercress Fields’, and Martyr’s Field with its macabre past – all have stories to tell. Many areas were farmed until relatively recently and are living links to Ashford’s past as an agricultural market town.
Recreation, Relaxation and Access
The Ashford Green Corridor is largely open to everyone to enjoy the recreational spaces and natural surroundings. As the map shows, there is a large network of paths which is popular for strolling, dog walking and for getting through and around town avoiding busy roads and traffic. Some paths, such as the Stour Valley Way, take you out into the countryside around Ashford and beyond. Most of the paths in Ashford are surfaced and provide access to many areas for wheelchairs and disability vehicles – however, please note these are usually shared use cycle and footpaths. For more access information follow this link: http://www.ashford-access-group.org.uk/
Green Transport and Cycling
Whether walking or cycling there are great green transport links, avoiding traffic, exhaust fumes and busy streets running into and through Ashford’s Green Corridor. As the map shows, a section of National Cycle Route 18, which connects Canterbury and Tonbridge Wells, runs through town and the Green Corridor – from Kennington in the east to Buxford Meadow in the west. A newer Willesborough Dykes Greenway Path – a multi user route, joins Park Farm in the south to the Green Corridor A number of Ashford’s districts have smaller cycle /foot paths that link to it, connecting communities around Ashford to the town centre and each other. All of which connects to Ashfords’ Domestic and International Railway Station. For more information on cycling in Kent follow these links: http://www.spokeseastkent.org.uk/
The Ashford Green Corridor Leaflet
You can download our free leaflet by clicking on the link below which contains an overview of the Ashford Green Corridor and a series of walks through Ashford. However please note that the telephone number on the leaflet is incorrect and should be 03000 410900.