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.”
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.