A NEW “green hub” has opened linking up woodland walkways and cycle routes to give visitors a tour around Belfairs Park and wildlife reserve in Leigh.

Southend Council and Essex Wildlife Trust have joined together to promote the new “green hub”, encouraging families to get fit and enjoy the great outdoors.

The project has seen all woodland walking routes and cycle ways linked up with the newBelfairsWoodland Centre, which opened in September, last year.

The centre now has a cafe, cycle parking and electric vehicle charging points.

Leaflets and a special app have also been unveiled which can be downloaded from www.essexwt.org.uk/belfairsapp which gives visitors a guided tour around the new “green hub”.

The app allows visitors to follow selected walks from their phone or tablet. Points of interest, children’s activities and audio accounts of the local history are highlighted along the journey.

Martin Terry, Southend councillor responsible for public protection, waste and transport, said: “The green hub is a real asset to Southend, promoting sustainability and outdoor activity in the beautiful setting of its ancient woodlands.”

The “green hub” initiative supports Southend Council’s bid to promote a campaign called Ideas In Motion, which encourages more people to saddle up instead of driving.

Since it started, it has already seen an 11 per cent reduction in the number of people travelling to work by car or van.