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4000 Leaflets, 42 train stations, 1 walk - Green spaces worth travelling for

If there is one sure thing to emerge from the past year, it is our new-found appreciation for green spaces.

Those with gardens, previously neglected, began to tend to them.

Local parks became meeting spaces in order to stay connected with one another.

Walking became a way to re-discover the neighbourhood, explore new spaces and find solitude. Not to mention the wellbeing benefits that nature provides.

We recently carried out a survey asking local residents about their knowledge of green spaces in the area, improvements they’d like to see and what they currently use them for. In comparison to previous surveys, it was clear that the majority of users newly recognised the mental health benefits of being outdoors. Whether it be as simple as having a break from a screen or finding a spot for contemplation and meditation – green spaces serve us all in one way or another.

With that in mind, The Community Brain, in collaboration with local resident Sue May and her family, have designed a printed leaflet and map for a walking route between Tolworth and Chessington. The route focuses on the wealth of green space in the borough, a lot of which remains undiscovered by some – hidden in plain sight. Beginning at Tolworth station and ending at either one of the two train stations in Chessington, the walk explores nature reserves, expansive fields and impressive viewpoints.

Artist Himali Patil standing in front of a map of a new Tolworth to Chessington walk on display at Tolworth Station

Designed and illustrated by Himali Patil, the leaflet also details wildlife to look out for as you explore - including roe deer, which you may have spotted in illustrative form on our new mural at Tolworth station (painted by local artist We Are Sky High).

Given the 3-mile route begins at Tolworth station and ends at Chessington South station (or Chessington North if you wish to break off and do a shorter version) we decided to share our designs with South Western Railway (SWR) – spark some curiosity in commuters perhaps? Not only were they impressed with our designs, but we were delighted to learn that they have printed 4000 copies and distributed them to over 40 train stations around London and the South West!

From Chiswick to Clapham, Waterloo to Worcester Park – this wayfinding route has travelled much further than we could have imagined. The idea that someone might see one of our leaflets as they wait for a train, perhaps encouraging them to explore somewhere that is already on their doorstep or somewhere entirely new to them is wonderful.

Celebration of Tolworth's Green Spaces Event

Monday 31 May, 11am - 4pm

If you see one of our leaflets, want to know more or perhaps want to explore the walk yourself, come along to our launch event – ‘Celebration of Tolworth’s Green Spaces’ on 31st May (11am - 4pm). Held at our new community space ‘Baking Ideas’ at Tolworth train station, you can pick up a map and, pre or post walk, enjoy food from local traders, live music by local musicians as well as learn about future work being carried out in the community.

There is a lot to be proud of locally, both people and place including, it seems, green spaces worth travelling for.


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