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Students help launch new walking and cycling guide

Students from the University of Worcester have joined forces with Malvern Hills District Council to launch new walking and cycling routes showcasing the best of the Teme Valley countryside.

Graphic Design students worked with the council’s Economic Development team to develop the Teme Valley Trail Guide, which was officially launched in Tenbury on Thursday, 18 August.

It features six illustrated walking and cycling routes around the Teme Valley and each one has different ability ratings meaning they can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Once someone has selected a route from the guide, they can download an individual sheet which features step by step directional notes and factual information on local places of interest they will pass on the way.

The routes, designed in consultation with the public, start at Stamford-on-Teme, Martley, Bransford, Tenbury Wells, Bromyard and Cleobury Mortimer and vary in length from 5.5 to 8.5 miles.

They have been designed to keep cyclists and walkers off busy routes and provide a stop for refreshments, such as a pub or café, while allowing people to explore stunning scenery, as well as the towns, hamlets and villages in the area.

Second year students spent a semester working on the project as part of their Graphic Information Design module last year.

The students were taught by Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design Andy Stevenson, who oversaw the students' inputs and who was then bought out of some of his teaching to help to complete the project. Part of Andy's industrial background before teaching was as a mapping specialist and creator of guide books.

The council approached the University’s Graphic Design department on the back of a similar successful project where Graphic Information Design students, again overseen by Andy, had designed prototype leaflets and signage.

This is the first time a collection of new routes have been devised for walks and cycle routes in the Teme Valley and the guide will replace the council’s existing Teme Valley Tour Guide.

The project has been funded by Malvern Hills AONB Sustainable Development Fund, Malvern Hills District Council and the University of Worcester.

Mr Stevenson said: “It's been an amazing project to be a part of and the outputs are already getting interest from adjoining authorities and national cycling organisations - so there may be further collaborations of this nature.

“Additionally, it's a really valuable experience for students to work on such 'live' design projects and with real clients.”

Scott Williams, Graphic Information Design student said: “One of the best things about The Teme Valley Trails project was the opportunity to work on a real world 'live' project, with an actual client. The chance to work on live projects whilst still in education offers an insight into what we can expect to be faced with in the creative industries and offers much needed experience. It's especially satisfying to see elements of your own design used in a project.

“The research and development work I carried out as part of this project has encouraged me to look at signage and the information that is all around us every day, with fresh eyes."

Cllr Phil Grove, Leader of Malvern Hills District Council, said: “The students have done an amazing job on the new guide which will help people explore some of the most beautiful countryside in the country, as well as offering another reason to come and find out more about what the district has to offer.”

The guide leaflet and individual route sheets are available to download for free by visiting www.visitthemalverns.org or are available from Tourist Information Centres, libraries and other outlets.