Brixham to Plymouth walk will celebrate coast path beauty
The South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty team is taking part in a special event to celebrate the SW Coast Path Association’s 40th anniversary next Spring.
The ‘Great South West Walk’ will help fund improvement projects all along the route in Cornwall, Devon Dorset and Somerset. The walk along the South Devon AONB coast will start from Berry Head on Monday 15th April and finish in Mount Batten Plymouth on Saturday 20th April.
The South West Coast Path is estimated to generate over £300 million for the regional economy each year, with walking one of the most popular activities undertaken by visitors.
Yet in recent years funding for its maintenance has shrunk.
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There is now much concern over costs for on-going maintenance, let alone funding for improvements and upgrades to the path to make it more accessible, attractive to a range of users and with a surface pleasant to walk on all year round.
To raise funds for small but significant improvement projects, over and above general maintenance, the SWCPA are launching “The Great South West Walk – putting 40 years of love back into the Coast Path!” They are drafting in the help of a large number of countryside organisations including the South West Coast Path Team, the National Trust, County Councils and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty Teams, along with local walking groups & numerous tourism businesses.
The event aims to encourage at least 30 walkers each day across a series of sponsored walks which have been broken down into 56 legs and will be done in relay to cover the entire 630 mile path around Dorset, Devon and Cornwall as well as the entire Exmoor coast through Somerset.
Robin Toogood, manager of the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, said: "I always think of the coast path as the jewel in the crown of the South West. It's a walk through Britain's most stunning coastal landscapes and has got to be one of the best long distance trails in the world. Like so many other people, I never grow tired of it!
"This major South West Coast Path event celebrates how thousands of people have contributed to the path over the last 40 years. But keeping the path in tip-top condition is an unending task, involving many different organisations.”
Meeting with a birthday party at Land’s End on 7th May 2013, the South coast series starts at Poole on 3rd April, with the North coast series starting at Minehead on 16th April. Each leg will be guided by local experts, rangers and path wardens, who are all assisting the SWCPA with this event.
Walkers will be asked to raise £50 of sponsorship each, so that further funding can be levered from relevant organisations via matched giving. More information about each leg of the walk and the corresponding improvement project is on our website.
Through individual sponsorship, grants, corporate sponsorship and matched giving, the target is to raise £250,000. This will enable over 40 improvement projects spread along the route of the entire path to be completed during 2013. These projects have all been selected to enhance the experience and enjoyment of walkers using the path.
From locals to visitors, dog walkers to family outings, hill climbers to gentle strollers – the South West Coast Path is enjoyed by many. It is used for recreation and business, is vital for the economy, whilst providing a tool for a range of charities to raise funds.
It is a unique part of our heritage and it needs help. So please get involved with the Great South West Walk and help put some love back into the Coast Path!
For more information, or to sign up to take part, please visit www.GreatSouthWestWalk.co.uk or follow the event on Twitter @LoveSWCoastPath