Walking the Bristol-Bath Railway Path

Research on the East Bristol case study has commenced with two ‘Walk and Talk’ events on the Bristol-Bath Railway Path in the Easton and Lawrence Hill areas. For both events citizens from the local community and beyond joined a walk along a short section of the path at different times of the day, whilst co-producing documentation of it. During the walks, the groups discussed what they like about the path, and what they think could be improved. At the same time, some of the participants photographed points of the path they found intriguing, whilst audio recordings were taken of the conversations and of the wider soundscape of the environment. At the end of the walks statements were collected about what the walkers thought worked and what didn’t work about the path.

 

Whilst both events engaged people on the path in order to share their experiences of it, the atmosphere and mood was strikingly different during each of the walks. The first walk, which took place on the 18th April between 3 pm and 4.30 pm, was a much more relaxed occasion in comparison to the second walk, which took place on the 25th April during the morning rush hour. Conversations with the participants reflected this difference, with the latter group discussing their frustrations at the speed of cyclists on morning commutes into the centre of Bristol, and offering a range of, at times conflicting, solutions. Whilst the first group did also highlight the issue of cycling speeds, they also drew attention to the tranquillity of the green space and the liveliness of its wildlife.

 

A final walk is due to take place on 9th May. All three of the walks are being used to recruit participation for the next stages of research on the case study.