A very successful WAW Get Together in ChepstowDelegates had a very entertaining weekend in Chepstow, starting with two very interesting walks. The first took us above the town with fine views of the castle, Severn Bridge and the Wye. The town walk was brought to life by a very interesting guide with lots of local knowledge. Many wished they could have been on both walks. After the official opening there was a choice of workshops, all very relevant to towns and villages in the network. The workshops were packed with information, we heard about fund raising and generating your own income, the efficient use of media and the awareness of the needs of disabled ramblers.
A summary of the workshops and links to the presentations will appear on the website as soon as everything is collated.
The Chepstow Male Voice Choir entertained diners to a repertoire of classic songs before the unveiling of the brilliant WAW embroidered banner. This will grow as the network expands.
Sunday began with the AGM and the usual election of officers, a summary of the accounts, a lively debate on future subscriptions (details to follow in the next newsletter), but for 2015 the subscriptions will increase by 10% to cover the costs of managing the network. The AGM was rounded off by our patron Kate Ashbrook bringing us up to date on the threats to accessible land and the progress of the England Coast Path. Discussions centred around annual returns, some members not fulfilling their obligation to promote WaW and whether we could improve the questions in the annual returns so we can glean better statistics. A task force has been formed and will report back before the end of the year. Going forward, the UK will be split into regions with a mentor for each to help and support towns and applications where we can. If anyone would like to help with the role of mentoring please let the the Secretary know. A thought provoking session on developing ‘Best Practice’ and the need to plan an event in some detail and write it down will hopefully be the start of creating a quality standard manual for members to access in the future. We are all very grateful for the volunteers from Chepstow for arranging the well run event and extensive programme. The venue for 2015 will be Sidmouth in Devon and the picture below shows John Dyson from Sidmouth receiving the banner from Paul Gowan from Chepstow.
If your town would like to be considered for hosting the event in 2016 please complete the application form.