Plans to build a network of canals and limestone caverns across the Black Country have failed to win £50million in funding in a public vote.
The Black Country Urban Park was one of four schemes short-listed in the The People's £50 Million Lottery winner-takes-all contest. The winner was Sustrans: Connect2, a UK-wide project to create new cycling and walking routes. It scooped 42% of the 286,285 votes entered by members of the public for the competition.
The scheme involves building bridges and crossings over barriers such as busy roads, rivers and railway lines. Each crossing will link to a network of walking and cycling routes to help cyclists and pedestrians reach schools, shops, workplaces and green spaces. Around six million people live within a mile of the proposed Connect2 project, and the plans include linking the Plants Brook Valley in north east Birmingham to the nearby communities, providing access for schools, hospitals, Sutton Coldfield town centre, Sutton Park and, at its southern end, the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal Towpath.
Sustrans chief executive John Grimshaw said: "There are 79 towns and settlements which are just going to be changed, I think, out of all recognition.
"I think this is the start of our culture changing. This gives us all a chance to start again at a personal level and make our own contribution. I think it is hugely important."
The Connect2 project will cost a total £140 million. Mr Grimshaw added: "Our ambition is that, when you wake up in the morning, walking and cycling will be so obviously an easy way of going to work and the shops and to school."
Also on the short-list were plans to regenerate Sherwood Forest and a plan for a new building at the Eden Project in Cornwall.
The Black Country Urban Park would have seen visitors will travel the waterways by boat and included an interpretation centre to explain how 400 million years of geology led to the Black Country becoming the "workshop of the world".
A visitors' centre was also planned for Barr Beacon, offering views across the Midlands to Wales.