Making tracks in Mytholmroyd

With childhood obesity a growing problem for us in the UK, we need to get more children taking exercise – and walking is a great way to do that. Mytholmroyd BookletMytholmroyd Walkers’ Action feels strongly about this issue and has produced a walks booklet especially for children. Entitled “Making Tracks in Mytholmroyd”, it describes six lovely circular walks, each with an illustrated map and lots of fun ideas and games. Every child in Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge has now been given their own booklet, so you might already have your own copy. The walks are easy to follow with picture waymarks showing the way. Each walk has its own character so the waymark signs are easy to spot – a bumble bee for the Bee Boles Walk, for example, and a bluebell for the Woodland Walk.

Walking in the countryside is such a cheap and easy way to get out and enjoy nature whilst getting in some valuable exercise. And getting children into walking can influence their habits in later life, hopefully leading to a healthy, active lifestyle. The feedback from families and children locally has been extremely positive with some evidence that the booklet is encouraging more people to go walking.

2011 Conference Market Weighton

Kington’s pioneer path scheme ends

After 25 years the pioneering Kington Footpath Scheme in Herefordshire has come to an end.  The scheme was invented and run by Peter Newman of the Open Spaces Society, with Herefordshire Council and the Hereford Probation Service. Kington path scheme

Offenders on Community Payback worked with Peter and the council to install about 800 stiles and gates, a similar number of waymarks and fingerposts, and many notice-boards and footbridges.  They have maintained countless footpaths, bridleways and byways in 16 parishes in north-west Herefordshire including parts of Offa’s Dyke National Trail and the Mortimer Trail.

Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and patron of the Walkers Are Welcome Towns Network: ‘The scheme has done massive good for this rural area.  By opening up paths and making them easy to find and use, the offenders have also helped the local economy.  People come here to walk and ride, but will only return if they have a good experience.

Will Steel, Network Regulation Manager for Balfour Beatty which undertakes public-path maintenance for Herefordshire Council, said: ‘The Kington Footpath Scheme has been an amazing achievement, having delivered huge improvements to the condition of local public rights of way. Peter’s consistent endeavours to improve the local area for residents and visitors alike through signposting, waymarking, clearing vegetation, replacing stiles with gates and numerous other projects, is truly commendable.

‘Even in its infancy, the project was far more advanced than others of its time and it offers a pillar of exemplary community-led engagement in today’s world of localism and devolution of services.

Their work has substantially helped to put Kington firmly on the tourist map, as a centre for walking.  Peter Newman has given up his Sundays throughout this time and worked alongside the supervisors and offenders to achieve all this.’

 

Southern mini Get Together

A grab opportunity for towns to network, support each other and seek advice.WaW-walk

Member towns are invited to attend a Walkers are Welcome southern mini Get-Together in Dursley, Gloucestershire kindly arranged by the Dursley WaW group.

Enjoy a walk and chat to people from other WaW towns and help inspire each other.

For full details of the programme visit our members Get Together page where there is a link to the full programme.

Put the date in your diary and if you wish to attend please email dursleywaw@gmail.com   before 29th February 2016

Please note there is a small charge of £5 per person payable on the day which includes lunch.

9.45am  to 3.30pm

Dursley Community Centre,

Rednock Drive,

Dursley,

Gloucestershire GL11 4BX

Forging links with Japan

 

Last February a Friendship Agreement was signed between Walkers are Welcome and the Footpath Association of Japan. MeetingThe organisations have a lot in common, both are community led and have similar aims, to improve facilities and information for walkers and to promote footpaths in lesser known areas.

During 2015 several Japanese groups have visited the UK, including a group in August who visited 6 different Walkers are Welcome towns. The towns involved in the visits thoroughly enjoyed the experience and made new friends. The good news is that the Japanese are keen to visit more of our WaW towns, share ideas and form friendships. They would also love to welcome groups of British walkers to their towns.

We have just heard that a group from the Footpath Association of Japan is visiting the Cotswolds again in February 2016, partly to walk the Cotswold Way, but also to continue talks on how our two organisations can work together more. They have asked if there are more WaW towns that would like to welcome groups of Japanese walkers, show them around and lead walks for them.

If this appeals to you and you think your town would like to get more involved, please contact secretary@walkersarewelcome.org.uk

The very young and not so young greet the new walking year.

Whitchurch, Hampshire celebrated the arrival of 2016 with the ever popular New Years Day walk along the Mill Trail to Freefolk. The walk was a tremendous success with local residents and visitors joining the town’s two walking groups to blow away the cobwebs and lose a few of those unwanted Christmas calories.

After a short stop and some very welcome refreshments at the Watership Down Inn, the group split, with some walkers returning to Whitchurch via the Mill Trail whilst a sizeable group elected to chance the weather and walk off a few more festive calories by taking a longer route back to town via the ancient ‘Harroway’ and ‘Pig City’.

New-Years-Day-Ramble

Mini Get-Together 19th March 2016 Dursley, Gloucestershire

AGM2014 Home bannerThe purpose of this free Mini Get-Together is to bring together Walkers are Welcome Towns and Villages in the Southern and Western parts of England and Wales for the purpose of networking and sharing best practice. Dursley is situated in Gloucestershire close to the Cotswold escarpment and also the M5 motorway. For anyone wishing to travel to Dursley by train the railway station on the Gloucester to Bristol main line and is called Cam and Dursley.

Dursley Welcomes Walkers are arranging the event and will give you the opportunity to enjoy either a walk around Dursley to look at some of the town’s old buildings and other locations with a focus on their history or a 3 mile walk to Stinchcombe Hill to walk the Cotswold Way circular walk that has been twinned with route 3 of the Jeju Olle Trail.

The general subject will be “Town meets Country” and a number of Dursley partners will be present.

This will be followed by a lunch after which when you will have the chance to Network with other Walkers are Welcome Towns and villages. This will be followed by presentations by James Blockley on “The Cotswold Way and National Trails” and also by members of the Walkers are Welcome National Executive on the challenges and opportunities for Walkers are Welcome towns all.

If you plan to attend please RSVP before 29th February 2016 to dursleywaw@gmail.com

For full details of the programme please Click here.

For those wishing to stay overnight and further enjoy the area please see www.dursleywelcomeswalkers.org.uk or accommodation websites such as www.booking.com/Gloucestershire‎

Intrepid walkers during a soggy December

Llandovery Walkers are Welcome

The Llandovery WaW group ended their programme for the year 2015 with a walk which took them around the boundaries of their neighbouring parish of Myddfai, a little further east of Llandovery in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons.

A detour was made down towards the derelict property of Abertriplwyf, i.e. the meeting place of three parishes. i.e. Myddfai, Llangadog, and Llanddeusant. It was a fascinating settlement to visit, and there is no doubt that members of Llandovery WaW will be returning to the site as a lot that can be done to make the site more attractive to visitors, essentially cutting down the brambles and intrusive trees, and perhaps cleaning some of the rusty machinery parts which are still to be found there in the undergrowth.Llandovery-walk-

Whitchurch Hampshire official launch

Whitchurch Hampshire was awarded accreditation in October, becoming the first town to represent the North Hampshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the beautiful Test River Valley.

The Whitchurch Association (Walkers are Welcome Steering Committee) coordinated the town’s successful campaign, supported throughout by Whitchurch Town Council. At the official launch of Whitchurch Walkers are Welcome on the 21st November, the Mayor Councillor Barry Jackman said, “On behalf of the town council I would like to thank all those townsfolk who really pulled together in what became a true community effort.

They carried out with enthusiasm so much to gain this award;  completing petitions, undertaking footpath surveys and clearance, and litter picking were just a few of the many ways in which we were able to showcase our town.”

Endorsements were received from the managing directors of South West Trains and Stagecoach South, our local, borough and county councillors and the MP for North West Hampshire.

Whitchurch-WaW

Wiveliscombe is on the map

Wiveliscombe WaW group along with the Council and the local business group have created a new leaflet. Councillor Mark Edwards said “It should put Wiveliscombe on the map as a destination for walkers and people to enjoy the great outdoors. The additional benefit will be to the traders whose livelihood will get a boost from the additional footfall.Wiveliscombe-in-news

Annual General Meeting 8th November 2015

We are delighted that full programme details and booking form for the Walkers are Welcome‘s Annual General Meeting are now available on the website, under Get Together. We have made it a relaxed day with lots of opportunities for networking, picking up tips, ideas and innovation or asking questions and seeking information from mentors and the national committee. We won’t even mind if you want to come late to fit in with your journey arrangements although you may wish to stay overnight in this lovely area and spend the whole day with us. Don’t forget to book lunch at the subsidised cost of £5 payable on the day but note that if you don’t turn up at the last minute, we will have to charge you.

This is also the time when the national committee which now comprises directors and co-opted additional members, will be re-elected (or not). We invite new nominations to spread the load and bring fresh ideas, see the booking form to add your nomination. We are all really looking forward to seeing you in November.

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