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Walkers are Welcome reaches 100!

From humble beginnings in 2007, Abergavenny has become the 100th Walkers are Welcome town and their Patron is none other than Kate Humble!

The Abergavenny WaW group is delighted that local television celebrity Kate Humble has agreed to be their patron. Kate said: “I’m delighted to be a patron for Abergavenny’s Walkers are Welcome. Abergavenny is a pretty market town, surrounded by spectacular countryside. The gateway to the Black Mountains, it is the perfect base for walkers who appreciate glorious, diverse scenery and want somewhere to come back to that offers great local food and lovely places to stay. Walkers really are genuinely welcome!”

Nigel Bottling, Chair of the National Executive, said “This was a first class application which clearly demonstrated not only how much the town offers to welcoming walkers, but the enthusiasm of those involved in wanting to improve what’s on offer.” 

Abergavenny’s Steering Group hopes to create an online resource for walking, developing packages with local businesses, creating a new range of simple walks from the town centre and working with the council to improve the local rights of way network. “To keep this prestigious award, the town has to show it is always looking to improve and there are many other initiatives planned,” said Ruth Coulthard, Chair of the Steering Group.

A large launch event is planned for Easter when it is hoped over 100 people will gather on Castle Meadows.

Abergavenny celebrating their WaW status

WaW invited to the launch of Britain on Foot

AOI logoThe Chair of WAW was privileged to be invited to the Houses of Parliament for the official launch of Britain on Foot, an initiative sponsored by the Outdoor Industries Association (OIA). Kate Ashbrook, our patron represented the Open Spaces Society.

Over 100 people attended the function, including members of parliament and the House of Lords who are interested in promoting outdoor activities especially walking throughout Great Britain attended the function.

Andrew Denton who is the Chief Executive of OIA addressed the meeting and he introduced Anna Soubry MP parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health who emphasised the benefits that walking brings not only to the individual but the local economy.

Kate and I met up again with Laura Sims of HF holidays (Laura attended the Church Stretton conference) and introduced to the chief executive of HF holidays Brian Smith. A meeting is to be arranged to see if HF Holidays can help Walkers are Welcome in some way. We hope to do this at the end of January and will advise of our progress in due course.

In addition we have had a subsequent meeting with Terry Stephenson of OIA. Terry has got some excellent ideas and would like to assist us in raising the profile of WaW.

We will keep you all posted on progress on this as well.

The campaign to get Britain on Foot will be launched in March so look out for their logo.

Nigel Botting