Oh what fun it is to ride – or walk, jog or run along Tameside’s Bee Network

Date Released - 13/12/2022

CHILDREN were jingling all the way during a festive activity along a scenic walking and cycling route.

Pupils from two schools enjoyed a ‘Jingle Jog’ with the choice to walk, wheel or run around the first Bee Network scheme to open in Tameside.

It took place at Chadwick Dam, through Ashton-under-Lyne and Stalybridge, which is leased by Ridgehill Big Local Enterprises, a not-for-profit social enterprise that leases and manages the land to benefit the community.  The beauty spot has benefitted from enhancements to an off-road path for people to enjoy walking and cycling and a new crossing at Mossley Road – all improving access to the park and connections between residential areas and Tameside Hospital. Bat boxes have also been installed and picnic benches positioned in a wildflower sensory garden.

Pupils at neighbouring Inspire Academy, part of Victorious Academies Trust, and Silver Springs Primary Academy, part of Great Academies Education Trust, can use the new network to make sustainable journeys to and from school or to access natural scenery.

Two events on Wednesday 7 December saw pupils from Years 1, 2 and 3 and then Years 4, 5 and 6 take part, helping them get fit and active in the fresh air.

Teachers were there to support the event, which was facilitated and supported by Tameside Council, Transport for Greater Manchester and Ridgehill Big Local Enterprises.

Samantha Poole, Year Two Teacher and PE Lead at Inspire said: “Having over 600 children from both Inspire and Silver Springs, running, walking and wheeling around Chadwick Dam was just amazing. Our pupils really enjoyed taking part in the Jingle Jog, especially doing it with another local school.”

Inspire Academy Principal Louise Armstrong said:  “It’s fantastic to have the natural scenery of Chadwick Dam on our doorstep and the new Bee Network is invaluable for families from the surrounding area using it to cycle and walk to school.”

Silver Springs Primary Academy Principal Deborah Mason said: “The children had a great time dashing around Chadwick Dam and we’re grateful to those involved for organising the event.

“The new facilities give our families the option to cycle or ride to and from school and a tranquil spot where they can relax and spend quality time together.”

Tameside Council Executive Leader Councillor Gerald Cooney said: “I’m delighted that the children were able to get some fun exercise in the fresh air and enjoy nature during the Jingle Jog event.

“The Bee Network route through Chadwick Dam is a lovely area that enables people making short journeys to walk or cycle to their destination in a safe, healthy and sustainable way. We’re making improvements to our walking and cycling infrastructure across Tameside to benefit our residents throughout the borough.”

Greater Manchester’s Bee Network will provide a 1,800 mile, joined up cycling and walking network across the city-region to connect every neighbourhood and community and make it easier for people to get around on foot or by bike. It’s funded by The Mayor’s Challenge Fund (MCF) with £160million being invested across Greater Manchester. Find out more at www.tameside.gov.uk/MCF