Sudbury Walking Arts Project


A walking arts research project investigating walking and arts in Sudbury, delivering creative walking solutions moving forwards.

This three-month project was created using walking arts practice to research walking and wayfinding in the town of Sudbury, Suffolk. Through community engagement, in partnership with Babergh District Council and Sudbury Town Council the project was delivered through:

Branding & Management

Starting by creating the ‘Sudbury Walking Arts’ brand for events and social media platforms, to create a public facing brand that people got to know and felt comfortable interacting with.

We designed a substantial survey to answer some of the pertinent questions about wayfinding, and fed this in to participants as part of our marketing throughout the project.

Creating an open call for artists, with the goal of creating a dialogue with local people though walking art walkshops, they also created an opportunity to speak to people directly.

Assessment & Research

The Sudbury project was developed using quantitative and qualitative research methods; starting with a long form questionnaire to gather data.

Gathering local knowledge through walking meetings (during lockdown) with key partners including; the Town Centre Manager, Tourist Information and key arts and tourism venues in the town including Gainsborough’s House, a picture began to form about the location.

Examining what exists locally to consider whether the infrastructure was working, meant learning who is using the routes and how they are getting there.

We also aimed to observe accessibility issues (see walk testing) and consider cycle provision in line with the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) as part of the project.


A key part of creating the engagement and gathering information was a series of events in the run up to our Open Day, which enabled people to get involved and take ownership of the project.

Walkshops with Alisa Oleva & Gemma Garwood

We commissioned two artists walkshops with local artist Gemma Garwood who ran a green space walkshop featuring ritual and letting go, and Russian artist Alisa Oleva who created an urban walkshop, with parkour and performance interactions, the two worked well together to investigate both of Sudbury’s key environments.

As part of our Open Day we exhibited work from their walkshop’s, presenting some of the participant’s creations and reporting on their experience as walking artists in Sudbury.

Open Day & Workshops

We ran a hugely successful Open Day with community walking vase clay workshop by artist Cally James. Free and open to all, it was held on Saturday 29th May 2021 at St Peter’s Church Cultural Venue in Sudbury, and comprised of:

  • Art Exhibition
  • Stalls & Giveaways
  • Giant map of Sudbury
  • Free Tea & Biscuits
  • Community Feedback
  • Clay Make & Do Drop-in
  • Dinosaur Trail Launch & Giveaways

Clay Making Drop-in with Cally James

Local artist Cally created a family drop-in, open to all ages (with children accompanied by an adult.) Helping to create a walking inspired Clay Community Vase! Modelling ideas and thoughts about walking in Sudbury and participants created small plaques, from which Cally selected pieces to attach two large vases with the theme of walking in the town.

Community Stalls

Providing local groups with a forum, we had great support for the event, and offered the venue itself a stall to promote the upcoming redevelopment work they were about to undertake on the building.

A variety of local Volunteer Groups took part at our community stalls, and locals enjoyed a free cuppa at our volunteer run café, where they could sign up for volunteering opportunities.

Walking Research

Attendees were able to view and comment on previous walking plans, and fill in our questionnaire via the QR code.

A visitor’s book was placed on our stall for comments, and we had an interactive art area where people could drop-in and draw or put post-it’s on our giant map of Sudbury.

With multiple ways options to interact, to appeal to different people we invited them to add their own suggestions on how walking could be improved in Sudbury.

Walk Testing

Paid volunteers who had never been to Sudbury were recorded using Strava, to see where their natural route took them as they headed through the town.

We had a small demographic, which importantly included a wheelchair user as a participant.

Some surprises included that they all visited both the green and urban spaces, and that they did come across almost all the main tourist destinations, which had been a concern raised by one of the key partners.


The questionnaire goal was to learn more about what people think about the current provision for walking and the arts in Sudbury, a chance for local people to have their say, we passed on the results to the team at Babergh & Mid Suffolk.

Outcomes & Report

If you would like to learn more about the outcomes of the research, then please click the link below to find our full report including 62 Pages of content:

  • Questionnaire results – Statistics and data
  • Blind testing findings – Surprises and suggestions
  • Community feedback – Local people’s suggestions, their wants and needs
  • Suggestions for simple improvements – Concept drawings for simple wins
  • A selection of project packages with creative solutions for wayfinding in Sudbury
  • Improvements in sign placement for better navigation
  • How to spread the walking calendar throughout the year
  • Where Sudbury was already doing well

The 2021 report document can be found here:

Sudbury Walking Arts Report 2021

Social media archive and future projects @WalkArtSudbury