Wales & Borders Regional Get-Together

Last year we held a very successful Get-Together, in Knighton, for the WaW towns in Wales. As a result of the suggestions made at that event, we are inviting the member towns situated on the border of Wales and England which makes complete sense.
Montgomery have kindly agreed to host the event on Thursday 13th June at the Montgomery Town Hall, which is as central as we can get in the region as we are fairly spread out.
The format is roughly the same as last years, keeping the day fairly informal to exchange ideas with plenty of time to meet up with old friends and make some new ones. It is not a replacement for the Annual Get-Together but an opportunity to collect thoughts and ideas to share with other regions.
Montgomery will also leading a short walk around the town to enable us get some fresh air and have an insight into their town which has much to offer. We thoroughly enjoyed our walk at Knighton last year. and it makes for interesting walk when you are surrounded by people that do this on a regular basis in their own town.
There will be a £5 fee towards refreshment costs.
For further information and booking, please contact Helen Kenneally at Chepstow or the Secretary.

Under brilliant blue skies

Over three hundred walkers took part in the Boroughbridge Walkers are Welcome Easter Walking Festival.
Under brilliant blue skies and lovely sunshine with a backdrop of beautiful spring flowers, walkers from across the country saw the Boroughbridge area at its best.
Ever popular, was the Ghost Walk and the Myton Battle Walk with its fantastic afternoon tea to finish the day.
New this year was a walk around Minskip using an Iron Age track towards Arkendale and the seventeen mile Round River walk led by John Helliwell which attracted eight walkers. This walk went down stream from Boroughbridge to Aldwark bridge returning via Myton on the Swale and the north Bank of the River Ure. John is now working on a longer route going upstream which would include a visit to Ripon Cathedral. Watch this space for further details.
Finally, a big thank you must go to all the Walk leaders, helpers and the sponsors who made The Walking Festival such a successful event.
To download our walk leaflets visit http://www.boroughbridgewalks.org.uk/

Winchcombe WaW is all heart!

Sheila Talbot, Chair of the Winchcombe Walkers are Welcome presented a defibrillator to the North District Cotswold Voluntary Wardens at their AGM in Lifford Hall, Broadway on 21st March.

Sheila said “Winchcombe Walkers are Welcome simply couldn’t have achieved so much over the past 10 years without the help of the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens. Work parties in North District go out several times a week looking after the footpaths and walk leaders help out at our annual walking festival”.

“Over the years we have built up a nest egg from selling guide books and running walking festivals. As a group we felt we would like to give something back to the Wardens and a defibrillator seemed like a good idea. We hope it will never be needed, but the Wardens work outdoors in remote places and it would take a long time for medical help to reach them in an emergency. Having the ‘defib’ with them in the truck could make the difference between life and death”.

Rebecca Jones, the Warden’s co-ordinator who works for the Cotswold Conservation Board said “The Conservation Board would love to buy defibrillators for every work party but sadly the budget cannot cover it. We never expected to be given one so we are absolutely thrilled”.

Wellington help a visitor from Canada follow his grandfather’s footsteps

Wellington Walkers are Welcome were contacted via their website by Terry from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Malcolm, one of their committee members was able to  take Terry from the site of his grandfather’s house (Henry Frost, born in 1871) to Steeraway where he worked as a limestone miner from the age of 12. After looking at old maps from 1888,  they identified and walked the likely path Terry’s grandfather  would have taken, the majority of which still exists today. At Steeraway, they looked at the base of the old limekilns, and then went via some old tramways to one of the original mine entrances before returning along a path across the top of the limekilns where the tramways led to, to supply the top of the kilns with the raw material (limestone and coal) that was being used to produce quicklime. It is even possible that Terry and Malcolm are related as Malcolm has Frosts in his family tree.  Terry  was very grateful that Wellington WaW had been able to help him by showing him the area. Wellington  readily agreed as being open to unusual requests can only be good for their  reputation, for Wellington and for Walkers are Welcome nationally.

Stocksbridge Walkers: by Royal Appointment – Walkers are Welcome wins a Duke of York’s Community Initiative Award

Stocksbridge Walkers are Welcome (SWaW) have won one of the coveted 2019 Duke of York’s Community Initiative (DoYCI) Awards.

The Royal Award is presented to a small number of local community projects based in Yorkshire and the Humber, organisations that have been subjected to rigorous and robust scrutiny and are deemed to be: ‘of real value to the community, well run and an inspiration to others.’

After coming second in the 2018 Ramblers, ‘Best Walking Neighbourhood Awards,’ Stocksbridge has become the new ‘go-to’ place for recreational walking. The countryside is open, walks are varied, clear instructions are available, and the area is relatively unspoilt. The SWaW website has detailed downloadable instructions for almost fifty walks in, and around, North Sheffield. http://www.stocksbridge-walkers.org.uk/

Founded by the Duke in 1998, the Initiative focuses on encouraging and rewarding innovative and inspirational community projects. His Royal Highness the Duke of York will make presentations and meet the successful applicants at an Award Ceremony to be held at Catterick Camp, on Wednesday April 3rd.

HRH The Duke of York: ‘The Community Initiative which bears my name is a great success story throughout the whole of Yorkshire with over 400 first class community schemes having received my Award. They have been encouraged informally to act as mentors and examples of best practice to other communities, spreading far and wide the message that often the remedy for short comings can be generated at community level.’

Bridge Cut Up

Kirkby Stephen Walkers are Welcome noticed in December that the footbridge over the gill on their Poetry Path had been cut up with a chain saw. Initially, they believed that the bridge department at Cumbria Country Council, Countryside Access had decided to renew the bridge which had been reported on several occasions over the last year as the top planks deteriorated.
Eventually, into January after chasing this up, they were informed by the Senior Countryside Access Officer:
‘The bridge that was damaged wasn’t on our asset but it was removed to prevent risk to the users. With the nature of the stream crossing we have no current plans to construct a new structure at this location.’
This bridge was built by East Cumbria Countryside Project when the Poetry Path was installed. We are devastated, had we been advised, it was quite possible that we would have raised funding to have the bridge repaired ourselves. We are now left with a wobbly plank while deciding how to progress.

Llanwrtyd Wells Square Wall Hanging

Llanwrtyd Wells has completed its wall hanging square to join the national wall hanging.The art work was designed and made by the Sewing and Handicraft group in Llanwrtyd Wells. The square depicts a Red Kite above mountains, patchwork fields and a river in the Cambrian Mountains. The Red Kite is the iconic bird in Powys. The Kite was persecuted almost to extinction and the last remaining pair survived in the hills above Llanwrtyd Wells. There are now 1600 pairs in Great Britain and they are protected under a Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. They are a constant presence in the landscape and beautiful to watch as they effortlessly glide over our hills and fields. They are one of the great conservation success stories of recent times.
 

Charlbury – a Cotswolds Gateway Town

Along with other places at the edge of the Cotswolds AONB, Charlbury will become a Cotswolds Gateway Town. Funding associated with this will allow them to provide better visitor information, to create and improve footpaths, and to promote their position at the Easternmost edge of the Cotswolds. They say “We will focus on improving and creating new shorter routes and will provide road free routes from local accommodation into the town. To celebrate this, we will be holding our first walking festival in June this year. More news and details of this to follow. Charlbury has a main line railway station with frequent trains along the Cotswold line and we also have a bus service from Oxford. We are also on a National cross country cycle route and the Oxfordshire way long distance footpath goes through the Town. Being a Walkers are Welcome Town has encouraged local businesses to cater for visitors and there is a range of accommodation and choice of refreshments now available”

2019 Annual Get-Together 12-13th October

The next Walkers are Welcome Annual Get-Together will be held in Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria. This small old market town with its Conservation Area is surrounded by the spectacular countryside of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the new Westmorland Dales extension to the Yorkshire Dales National Park. You can enjoy peaceful river walks, popular disused railways and explore ancient lanes or climb nearby fells and moorland with open access and outstanding views. The town’s Market Street provides independent shops, cafe’s, pubs and accommodation. The residents love their quirky projects and arts events that bring added vitality.
Whilst the north might seem a long way to come, there are easy motorway links or mainline railways including the famous Settle-Carlisle railway with the traffic easing and landscape unfolding as you near your destination. We hope you will be able to visit us and stay a while. We assure you that the welcome will be warm. further information to follow.

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