My last blog entry started with the words ‘2020 didn’t quite go to plan’ and much the same could be said for 2021 as the pandemic continued to impose many restrictions to our lives. However, we kept our distance, donned our masks, sanitised our hands and got on with things as best we could.
One of the achievements of last year was to gain Walkers Are Welcome accreditation. Pewsey Vale Tourism Partnership led an application for the Vale which, with residents’ support, we finally achieved in autumn last year.
Walkers are Welcome is a nationwide community-led network of over 100 accredited towns and villages, helping its members to assist with their community’s economic, physical and mental well-being through walking. www.walkersarewelcome.org.uk. All of which have become all the more important since the pandemic. The Pewsey Vale is one of only 3 areas in Wiltshire to have achieved Walkers are Welcome status. The other two are Corsham and Bradford on Avon, with nearby Whitchurch being a member too – so Pewsey Vale is in good company.
Walkers are Welcome members encourage walking by providing excellent information on local walks, ensuring that the footpaths are maintained, improved and well signposted, and promoting the health benefits by increased participation.
The local economy also benefits by being a Walkers Are Welcome destination. When visitors see the distinctive logo they will know that they will find all the facilities walkers might need, cafes, pubs and accommodation, public transport links, all along with a friendly welcome and some great walking countryside.
Bedwyn Footpaths Group walk leaflets have been included under the scheme, as have published routes around Ham and those of Pewsey Valle, so we had no difficulty in demonstrating to the Walkers are Welcome committee that we have some amazing walking routes. You can check out the map of walks and download them here: www.visitpewseyvale.co.uk/walkers-are-welcome/ Leaflets can be picked up in the red information kiosk in Bedwyn village centre, at other venues in the area or downloaded from our Local walks to download page.
Bedwyn Footpaths Group walks were suspended or limited in numbers on government advice for most of last year but we are up and running (walking!) again now so watch our events page for details of our walks, see local notice boards or join our Facebook group. All welcome!