The Pewsey Vale is always welcoming and the Pewsey Vale Tourism Partnership (with the help of the Coop Community Fund) is running a project to achieve official recognition that it is a special place for walkers to visit.
The “Walkers Are Welcome” accreditation – www.walkersarewelcome.org.uk - is a national scheme to recognise places that go the extra mile to ensure good quality walking. The scheme will cover the whole of the Pewsey Community Area – from Ham and Buttermere in the east to Chirton and Patney in the west.
Back in 1826, William Cobbett – MP, journalist and farmer – shared his appreciation of this wonderful part of the world in his book ‘Rural Rides. Ok, so he wasn’t walking he was riding his horse, but the sense of wonder he experienced is the same today:
‘Great as my expectations had been, they were more than fulfilled. I delight in this sort of country; and I had frequently seen the vale of the Itchen, that of the Bourn, and also that of the Teste in Hampshire; I had seen the vales amongst the South Downs, but I never before saw anything to please me like this valley of the Avon. I sat upon my horse and looked over Milton and Easton and Pewsey for half an hour, though I had not breakfasted.’
So what do we need to do? There are a number of requirements that we need to fulfil:
• Demonstrate that local councils support the accreditation
• Demonstrate a commitment to maintaining public rights of way
• Demonstrate we are marketing the area
• Encourage use of public transport
• Demonstrate that we can maintain our status in the future
• Demonstrate popular local support
The benefits include improved quality of rights of way for locals and visitors, help for parish councils and landowners to meet their responsibilities for rights of way and more publicity for the Vale which in turn will help with our economic recovery after Covid.
We have nearly all the requirements in place, but need your help!
To demonstrate popular local support, we have to get just over 700 signatures of support for this scheme – 5% of the population in the area. We are getting there, but need a concerted effort to push us over the line.
Because of Covid restrictions, getting signatures on a piece of paper hasn’t been possible, so we have set up an online register where you can show your support for this important accreditation.
Just go to www.visitpewseyvale.co.uk/waw where there is a link to take you to the register. It takes less than a minute to do, so please encourage everyone in your household, friends and family to sign up! Thank you! For more information on this project, the Pewsey Vale Tourism Partnership or if you would like to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org