KIDLINGTON residents are being invited to use their daily exercise by testing out seven new walking routes in the village.

Developed by Cherwell District Council’s K5 Better Together partnership, the paths have been designed with families in mind, connecting up neighbourhoods and encouraging parents, grandparents and children to explore their local area on foot.

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The seven routes are part of an initial pilot, with feedback from the test-walks helping to identify the most popular circuits with the aim of them becoming a more permanent offering for the village.

Under the current lockdown restrictions, going for a daily walk is allowed as long as you do so with your household or with one person from another household, socially distanced.

Councillor Andrew McHugh, Cherwell’s lead member for health and wellbeing said: “If exercise was a pill, there would be a scandal if it wasn’t prescribed on the NHS. It not only improves general fitness, but bolsters mental wellbeing and helps reduce your risk of diseases including cancer and type 2 diabetes.

"This wayfinding project offers a fun opportunity for families in Kidlington to find new ways to get around their village, leaving the car at home and building in some exercise to their daily routine.”

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The project is funded by Sport England and supported by Kidlington Parish Council.

A similar initiative in Bicester resulted in the creation of the Blue Line Health Walks, which are estimated to offer a saving of £2.10 to the NHS per £1.00 spent over the next 25 years.

They saw a huge surge in people using them since the first lockdown.

The seven routes in Kidlington vary in length from 2.4km to 5km, each offering a slightly different experience for the user.

From the more ‘muddy boot’ adventures of the Stratfield Brake route to the more accessible and buggy-friendly Garden City route, there is something for everyone.

Four paths start from Exeter Hall, allowing walkers the chance to hop onto another network if they want a slightly longer walk.

Mr McHugh added: “I would urge families in Kidlington to seize the initiative, pick a route and get out and have an adventure."

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All the routes can be found at Feedback about the initiative can be given at

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