Tagged: Footpaths

How natural is the natural environment? Post 3: Walking to Wiseman Park


For my second walk I decided to go in a different direction to my last walk and see what I would encounter.

My end location was going to be Wiseman Park. I knew that the distance to Wiseman Park was going to be shorter than the International House walk, so I assumed that I was going to encounter a lower number of man-made obstacles.

In the end, the results of the two walks were much the same which was surprising. I honestly though that I had choosen a route that would use the ‘natural environment’.

To my understanding, the route that I took was the best one possible. I was constantly scanning ahead for any large patches of grass and thinking about which side of the road would have less obstacles. I feel as though I did everything I could.

In the end, I was pretty disappointed that I had walked on so many man-made structures.

Maybe I should make my rule that I have to walk on man-made structures, because at this stage I am not avoiding them very well.

Just like my previous walk, I used Strava to track my geographical location throughout the walk.

























Once I had finished my walk and checked how far I had actually walked, I couldn’t believe how hard it was to avoid footpaths and roads in such a short distance.

To make it easier for people to see how many times I was forced to walk on a man-made structure, I downloaded another IPhone App before my walk. The App is called Pacer and it is an App that counts you steps (a pedometer App).

The idea behind using this App was to count how many steps I took throughout the whole walk as well as count how many steps I took on man made structures.













Although the App could count my total steps, it was up to me to count in my head how many steps I took on a man-made surface.

Out of the 3184 steps that the Pacer App counted, 533 of them were on concrete or alike. If we were to put these numbers into a fraction (3184 divided by 533), it would mean that roughly one fifth (1/5) of my steps were on a surface that I was trying to avoid.

From this data I am able to take away a few things;

  • There is a lot of man-made structures around and no matter how hard you try and avoid them there will be times you are forced to walk on them
  • I am pretty average at designing walking routes that avoid man-made obstacles

I created another video to show all the obstacles that I was faced with on my walk to Wiseman Park.



How natural is the natural environment? Part 2: Walking to International House

For my first walk, I decided to walk to International House student accommodation.

I had two reasons for choosing this location;

  1. I use to live there during my first year of University
  2. A lot of people use to say how relaxing and natural the walk was to and from uni was when I was living there

    To help document this walk to see if I could get to International House by only using the ‘natural environment’, I used my mobile phone to take pictures and to track where I walked.


    To track where exactly I used an IPhone App called Strava. This App was fantastic to use, not only did it show where I was walking, it also was able to tell me how far I walked and how long it took me.

    Before I started my first walk I assumed that I was going to have to walk on a man made structure between 5-10 times. I know there is a lot of roads and footpaths around, but I believed that if I structured a derive around my gut feeling and following where there was lots of grass, I would be able to get to my destination without encountering a lot of obstacles.

    Although I had a lot of faith at the start of the walk, the harsh reality soon became very evident. By the time I had reached the halfway point, I had already stepped on a road or footpath at least 20 times.

    By the time I had reached my final destination, I had encountered roughly 50 obstacles. To be honest I was very surprised that the number was this high. I understand that the area is densely populated and a high traffic area, but 50 obstacles is a lot, especially when your main goal is to avoid them.

    Throughout the walk my main two obstacles were having to cross roads and facing driveways that were to long to jump over.

    Hopefully this video will help to show the many obstacles I encountered when trying to travel via the ‘natural environment’.