Walkers Are Welcome In Cheddar – It’s Official!

Walkers-Are-Welcome

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.

For more information, email: contact@cheddarwalking,co.uk or visit www.cheddarwalking.org.uk.

Historic Walk around historic Cheddar – 23rd July

Cheddar Gorge
Rose Cottage and Lion Rock, Cheddar Gorge

July 23rd 2015- Historic Walk around historic Cheddar – with Sue Shaw

Discover the hidden industrial history and significant buildings of interest in the Lower Gorge and village. Led by local historic landscape and buildings researcher Sue Shaw, the 1.5 hour walk of approximately 2 miles will reveal a past that included a shirt factory, manufacture of charabanc bodies and fine paper making.

Booking details: Booking essential as limit of 15 places. Book via Mendiphills@somerset.gov.uk or tel 01761 462338
£5 per person ( all profits to Cheddar Walkers are Welcome group).

Festival of Archaeology event: http://www.archaeologyfestival.org.uk/

Cheddar Walking Making Great Strides

Soay sheep at Cheddar Gorge
Soay sheep at Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar is ‘making great strides’ towards becoming a Walkers Are Welcome village thanks to the support of the community, according to the chairman of Cheddar Walking, Huw Robson.

Cheddar Walking, was set up following a well-attended meeting where a number of interested tourism businesses and residents agreed it would benefit the village to be recognised nationally for encouraging walkers.

“We have been delighted by the support we have received and have surprised ourselves by the speed with which we have been able to tick off the requirements for recognition under this scheme,” said Huw.

“Within a few months the number of signatories backing the bid to become a Walkers Are Welcome village had risen to 316, well above the figure required by the national scheme’s administrators and we have received offers of funding from Cheddar Parish Council, Sedgemoor District Council and the Mendip Hills AONB.

“We are really excited to think that we might be close to gaining membership and are already well ahead with work on the initial routes we want to feature and events that we will hold.”

signatures
Some of the signature sheets returned for Cheddar’s application

Cheddar Walking, which has a formal constitution, is now preparing a suite of walks to publish and will be working with the Mendip Ramblers in planning a walking festival in August 2016.

More than 100 locations across the UK are already members of the Walker Are Welcome scheme including several in Somerset. The idea is to make these destinations attractive to walkers by providing good, well maintained routes; helpful information and a warm welcome.

The benefit for Cheddar is that it will encourage more people to spend time and money in the village and it will ensure the walking opportunities are well known and supported.

For more information, email: contact@cheddarwalking,co.uk or visit www.cheddarwalking.org.uk