Over 400 walkers took part in the third North Wessex Downs Walking Festival which finished last Sunday. Twenty-six walks have taken place over nine days. There were events across the area including walks starting from Devizes, Whitchurch, Uffington, Pangbourne and Marlborough – to name just a few.

The North Wessex Downs has top class walking country on offer and the walking festival is the perfect opportunity for residents and visitors to explore more of this fascinating and beautiful landscape.

This year walkers have heard intriguing stories from the past, discovered wildflowers and butterflies, strolled across farms, explored the Ridgeway, learnt about ancient trees and even practised their art journalling skills with the support of a professional artist. Walk leaders have included local historians, farmers and land managers, a Savernake Forest ranger as well as knowledgeable community walk leaders.

Ann Shepley, Communications Officer from North Wessex Downs AONB said:

“This year’s walking festival has been our best yet with a huge diversity of walks across the AONB. We have been particularly pleased to be able to offer walks on a number of farms where we have been working with farmers on activities which are having a direct and positive impact for wildlife and nature.

Walkers have come from as far afield as Brighton and West London to take part.

We are extremely grateful to all our walk leaders, most of whom are volunteers, for helping us deliver the walking festival.”

We would like to thank all our partners:

Action for River Kennet (ARK); Bedwyn Footpaths Group; Berkshire Geoconservation Group; Bucklebury Estate; Cocklebury Farm; Ewhurst Park; Forestry England; Jo Beal – Artist; Marlborough Town Council; National Grid; National Trust; North Wessex Downs Landscape Trust; Pewsey Vale Tourism; Pipsticks Walks; Ramblers – North West Wiltshire; Richard Jefferies Museum; The Ridgeway National Trail; Salaam Seekers; Sheepdrove Organic Farm; Sulham Estate; Sundew Ecology; Walx Wessex; Whitchurch Walkers are Welcome; Whitchurch Wednesday Walks; Wiltshire History Man.

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