Cheddar, situated within Sedgemoor, has become the first village in the Mendip Hills – and only the fifth community in Somerset – to be awarded the ‘Walkers Are Welcome’ accreditation which denotes places with something special for walkers.
News that the executive of the Walkers Are Welcome UK Network had approved Cheddar’s membership was greeted with delight by the Cheddar Walking Group which has been working on its application since February.
“We are absolutely thrilled,” said chairman, Huw Robson. “We thought we had a good case as we have the backing of Sedgemoor District Council, Cheddar Parish Council, Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the community but we still had to keep our fingers crossed that we met the other criteria.
“Gaining the accreditation is a huge boost for us and I would like to thank everyone who has worked hard to help us reach this stage but now the work really begins as we put together a selection of guided walks and a programme of events.”
Among the things the group has to do to demonstrate its long term commitment to the scheme are survey the footpaths around the village and surrounding area, report any problems, establish new walks and improve facilities for walkers.
Cheddar Walking is planning an official launch of the scheme on September 4 with a special walk and the group has been approached by Mendip Ramblers about holding its walking festival in Cheddar next year.
Huw said: “We have set up our own website and we will be listing businesses that support the scheme and encouraging them to put Walkers Are Welcome stickers on their windows and literature showing they are happy to help make it a great experience for walkers visiting our village.”
There are more than 100 places in the UK that have become members of the Walkers Are Welcome scheme since it started in 2007.