Reconnecting communities with the River Medway in Kent, UK through the new towpath between Aylesford to Allington Lock is providing benefits to the natural environment as well as increasing accessibility across the wider Kent area.
The existing path between Aylesford and Allington Lock was subject to daily inundation by the tidal River Medway and therefore permanently wet, even during summer periods. With sections of the path overgrown and degraded, it was impassable at certain locations, however a rich natural riverside habitat had established. The design therefore needed to remain sensitive to and enhance the riverside environment.
Working with Kent County Council we’ve created a new shared footpath and cycleway, providing local residents and the Maidstone Cycle Forum with a safe and environmentally sensitive route that enhances riverside amenity. Hard engineering measures were only utilised where absolutely necessary. A boardwalk was designed to avoid vegetation clearance and preserve the bank profile in certain sections, and willow stakes were utilised to provide a natural bank stability solution.
The project was enabled through partnership funding including the South East Local Enterprise Partnership and Aylesford Parish Council. Our design team worked closely with local stakeholders, keeping the local community and environment at the forefront of the design.