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The 7th European Greenways Awards have been given on October 16th 2015 during the official ceremony in Namur (Belgium)

Seven greenways from Germany, Belgium, Spain, United Kingdom and Czech Republic were awarded as reference of best practices in Europe. The Award ceremony was held in Namur (Belgium).

The European Greenways Award was created in 2003 and has been held every two years since.
EGWA has been delighted to receive 21 candidacies from 9 different countries, and wishes to thank all the candidates for the quality of their work and the effort done to provide very helpful information to the jury.

In this 2015 edition the international jury has awarded projects in three categories: “Excellence”, “Exemplary Initiatives” and one special prize “Best Outdoor Tourism Product for Greenways”.
The jury met in Brussels last September, and as specified in the award regulations, they set out to select 3 awards for the “Excellence” and “Exemplary Initiatives” categories and the special prize for the Best Outdoor Tourism Product For Greenways (*). We are pleased to announce that the award winners are:

«Excellence» Category :

1st Prize: Nordbahntrasse Wuppertal (North-Rhine-Westphalia, Germany) presented by Wuppertalbewegung e.V.
For the transformation of the 22 Km of an abandoned railway line into an excellent inner city greenway, that develops an alternative infrastructure to connect urban and rural, furthermore protecting and enhancing industrial heritage. Pushed by citizens’ initiative, it has resulted a very successful public/private partnership with a very high positive impact in current and potential users. www.wuppertalbewegung.de

2nd Prize: Plazaola Greenway (Navarra, Spain) presented by Plazaola Tourist Consortium
For the excellent greenway resulting from the continuous work from 1998 to extend the path and services, maintaining the quality infrastructure as well as for the cooperation beyond regional borders to promote the greenway as an all. All this reinforced with the public/private partnership, a wide promotion during the year and high popular support, to achieve a very high impact in tourist. www.plazaola.org

3rd Prize: Koleje in Nový Jicín, (Moravia-Silesia, Czech Republic) presented by Association of Municipalities along the railtrail Nový Jicín – Hostašovice
For the excellent rail-trail greenway built thanks to the cooperation through the association of small municipalities, including purchase of infrastructure and agreement for maintenance, in a very short time. This new safe path for pedestrian and cyclist facilitate easy access to the wealth of cultural and natural heritage around and represent and opportunity for tourism and commuting by bike between municipalities. All this features making it exemplarity in the context of Czech Republic.www.novyjicin.cz

«Exemplary Initiatives» Category:

1st Prize: Sporen in de Tijd / Tracks into Time (Flanders, Walloon region, Belgium), presented by Trage Wegen vzw
For the exemplary initiative for recovery the memory of those who lived and used this former miners railway route at Flemish Ardennes and the Pays des Collines (Belgium), now a very symbolic greenway, through festivals, exhibitions, animation, meetings, music,  with a high intergenerational popular participation; this participative and inspiring initiative connects Flemish and Wallonia borders territories, people and greenways. www.tragewegen.be     www.sporenindetijd.be

2nd Prize: Greener greenways (UK) presented by Sustrans
For the exemplary initiative carried out to survey, protect and enhance biodiversity along some of the traffic-free greenways sections of the National Cycle Network, as an all. This pilot project has seen the transformation of 32 greenways in England and Wales and 12 greenways in Scotland, totalling 480 km, into corridors for wildlife, implementing the green infrastructure concept, and enabling species to thrive and move and people to make connections with nature every day, thanks to the great support from volunteers. www.sustrans.org.uk

3rd Prize:  Greenway of Terra Alta (Catalonia, Spain) presented by the Consell Comarcal de la Terra Alta
For the exemplary initiative to adapt a section of five kilometres of the Greenway Terra Alta to all kinds of people regardless of their capacity, with signs and promotional material that includes the publication of a guide in Braille system. This project has allowed the approach of all citizens to the greenway of Terra Alta by removing barriers for people with disabilities in a beautiful mountain and rural area. www.terra-alta.cat

Special Prize: Best Outdoor Tourism Product for Greenways (*)

Maratón Vías Verdes / Greenways Marathon (Diversport SC, Spain)
For the creation and commercialization of a product based on greenways related to outdoor sports, with very good results and clear growth since they started in 2013. The product includes 5 greenways marathons in Spain that are organized throughout the year, is sold through the web and achieve quite impressive figures about participation. It permits discover greenways to new clients, participants and accompanied persons, keen to return to the greenways.www.maratonviasverdes.com

This 7th European Greenways Award has been organized by the European Greenways Association (EGWA) in cooperation with the Wallonie.

For further information, please contact: Mercedes MuñozEuropean Greenways Association (EGWA)

(*) This special award is part of the activities included in the Greenways Outdoor project.