London SE1 community website

Green Garter helps to connect the Elephant

London SE1 website team

A plethora of new initiatives to encourage walking in the wider Elephant and Castle regeneration area was launched last week at an event at Southwark Local History Library.

launch of green garter
Cllr Catherine Bowman, writer John Constable, Jenny Jones AM of the Green Party and Bermondsey artist Andrew Logan examine a display about the Green Garter Walk

The Connecting the Elephant Street Forum is a group of local people concerned with street and pedestrian issues in the area that surrounds the Elephant and Castle regeneration zone. They have identified a number of walking routes that crisscross the area.

"The Connecting the Elephant project breathes life into the regeneration process by engaging local people in walking around and taking interest in their area," commented Cllr Catherine Bowman.

The first route to be identified by the Forum is a walking route dubbed the Green Garter that circles the Elephant and Castle, linking 'hidden' green spaces and local landmarks. The northern part of the circle is in SE1, between Bricklayers Arms in the east and Gladstone Street in the west, via Tabard Gardens, Trinity Street, Borough Road and St George's Circus. Outside SE1, the route takes in Kennington Park, Lorrimore Square and the Aylesbury Estate.

Local writer John Constable led an initial public walk round the Green Garter on Sunday. In future it is hoped that funding will be found to produce a guidebook to the new circular walk, encouraging locals and visitors alike to explore this unlikely yet rewarding route.

The Forum meets on the third Thursday of each month at 6.15pm upstairs at the Royal Oak in Tabard Street – all are welcome.

Also being launched on Thursday, the Green Lanes Network Landmarks project aims to create a network of safer, landscaped walking and cycle routes to link all the public places in the north Southwark area that residents, workers and visitors need to get to. The network will be manifested in fingerposts, 'you are here' boards and wall signs with local history and information.

It is hoped that the first two routes, linking the Elephant & Castle with London Bridge and Tower Bridge, will be completed in time for National Walking Day on 18 September.

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