We had a brilliant time at the first ever High Weald Walking Festival, with hundreds of people turning out last week to explore the historic landscape of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on 36 guided walks.
Running from 15-23 September, the Festival was helped by sunny weather during the opening weekend, with some walks welcoming as many as 34 attendees. Leaders included experienced Ramblers, advisers from organisations such as RSPB, Buglife, Ashdown Forest and The Woodland Trust as well as local author Deirdre Huston and members of the High Weald AONB Partnership team.
More than 400 walking sessions were recorded in total throughout the week (including repeat walkers), with an average of more than ten attendees per walk. As well as a strong contingent of High Weald residents keen to learn more about their local area, walkers came from nearby Bromley, Eastbourne and London and from further afield Solihull, the Isle of Man and Cornwall. Walks leaders also welcomed visitors to the AONB from Holland and Belgium – and even one from Sydney, Australia!
A huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who helped supported the Festival, whether you led a walk, distributed leaflets, put up a poster, Tweeted, Facebooked or spread the word in any other way. If you are interested in receiving further news, including dates for next year, please sign up to the mailing list at www.highwealdwalks.org.
The Festival was also the High Weald AONB Partnership's flagship event for Outstanding Week - the AONB Family’s week (and a bit) long programme of events to help people reconnect with nature by enjoying and being inspired by the UK’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).