2020 didn’t quite go to plan, but despite the restrictions the group managed some surprising successes so here’s a quick summary of what we got up to last year:
Lockdown gave the opportunity for some necessary website maintenance, apologies for the lack of blog entries and gallery photos, more coming soon. In the all-too-brief respite between lockdowns we were able to begin our project to renovate the old faded metal path signs. This task continues into 2021. Volunteers temporarily removed the fingerposts for cleaning, preparation and repainting. Each restored sign has a special little touch added to the original design, thanks to the talents of one of our group members.
The Canals & Rivers Trust repaired the canal bank alongside the towpath near Mill Bridge and Wiltshire Council have resurfaced an area of St Mary’s churchyard footpath to cover the exposed tree roots and mud. Both these issues were first raised by members in 2018 so it was pleasing to see them reach a conclusion. Volunteer working parties were suspended for much of 2020 but we are grateful to our Parish Council who have provided some financial support for help with the clearance of the paths that we would normally regularly keep clear ourselves.
Group walks were suspended in March 2020 and briefly resumed for two walks in September, held under Covid pandemic restrictions and with limited numbers. The successful Bedwyn Health Walks scheme has now been adopted as part of the Wiltshire Walking for Health programme These short health walks, with the option to be taught to use walking poles, are proving very popular and like our longer walks will be resuming – but we just don’t know when yet.
In the meantime, keep a look out for the renovated way-markers when you are out walking our parish paths – if permitted, socially distanced, and with mask and hand-sanitiser at the ready too of course!