Coleford Welcomes Walkers

The Coleford Welcome Walkers (CWW) Steering group has been busy over the last few months.

They say  “We have been working with our volunteers to re-vamp our website, www.colefordwelcomeswalkers.co.uk which we are delighted to say is now live.

Local businesses have been incredibly supportive in advertising on our webpage highlighting what they have to offer, with more pledging their allegiance. A local business even sponsored our new Hi-Viz jackets so we are very visible now!

Some of our volunteers have the litter picking bug and have made a significant impact in reducing the amount of litter along our walking routes, posting their achievements on the “Forest Wombles” Face Book page as well as CWW’s social media pages on Facebook and Instagram. It’s a sad indictment of our society today that we need to do this exercise regularly and we are looking at ways to get a message out there to take litter home. What has been inspiring is the number of other people that have taken up the mantel and off their own accord started littler picking too.

CWW volunteers have been pounding the local Public Rights of Way (PRoW), having walked all 33; mind some are very short, logging all the many issues with the Gloucestershire County Council Highways PRoW officer, who has been amazing in his support. With this partnership two new kissing gates have already been installed, stiles repaired, vegetation cut back and “polite” reminders to land owners to re-instate the PRoW once ploughed sent.

We’ve just learnt that a significant grant has been secured by the PRoW officer via our County Councillors Build Back Better grant scheme for Coleford and neighbouring Staunton to improve our footpaths. We did do a little dance about this news!

CWW are looking at a plan of PRoW works over the coming months and will start in earnest come the end of September once the birds have finished nesting. In the meantime, improved signage with new way markers on the PRoW’s is being undertaken and CWW are working on producing some detailed walks to highlight the wonderful routes in and around our town, highlighting points of interest and the heritage, so watch this space.

CWW are teaming up with local walking groups and are looking at ways we can assist each other in promoting walking locally.

Finally, CWW made it’s voice heard with the Forest of Dean District Council who have been very supportive in listening to our comments on how CWW can make our town more welcoming, to this end the car parking bays in the main car park are being cleared of vegetation, the signposts cleaned and a review of our Public Conveniences undertaken under a wider current project within the district. CWW have highlighted a route into town that needs some TLC and we are hopeful to set up a project to do just that with the district council officers and local groups.

With the support of our County Councillor, CWW applied for a Build Back Better Grant itself and as we go to press, CWW can confirm this has been approved. It just goes to show that local authorities are willing to listen, support and action where required.

CWW were able to utilise the WaW banner in our town recently with local businesses putting up the bunting to highlight that Coleford really is a Walkers are Welcome Town!  “

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