The accolade brings communities together and strengthens a destination’s reputation as a place where visitors can enjoy outdoor activities. The initiative also encourages its member destinations to maintain footpaths and facilities, contribute to local tourism plans and regeneration strategies and provide the opportunity to engage with fellow Walkers are Welcome towns and villages.
The recent award sees Abergavenny join the nearby Black Mountains towns of Talgarth, Crickhowell and Hay-on-Wye in achieving the Walkers are Welcome accreditation. These towns were supported through the accreditation process by Brecon Beacons National Park Authority through the Offa’s Country Partnership’s Walking with Offa project. The Abergavenny bid was also supported by adventa, which is part of Monmouthshire’s Rural Enterprise Plan programme.
Television wildlife presenter Kate Humble is the patron of the Abergavenny Walkers are Welcome group, and said the town had a lot to offer walkers: “Abergavenny is a pretty market town, surrounded by spectacular countryside. The gateway to the Black Mountains, it is the perfect base for walkers who appreciate glorious, diverse scenery and want somewhere to come back to that offers great local food and lovely places to stay. Walkers really are genuinely welcome!”
Nigel Bottling, Chair of the Walkers are Welcome national committee, said: “We are thrilled that Abergavenny has just become the 100th member of our network. This was a first class application which clearly demonstrated not only how much the town has to offer walkers, but also shows the enthusiasm of those involved in wanting to improve what’s on offer.”
Ruth Coulthard, Chairman of the Abergavenny Walkers are Welcome group, said: “This is one of the best destinations for walking; both in terms of places to walk and also the welcome people receive. We hope this initiative will help to not only give the town the recognition it deserves, but also to help improve what is on offer and to develop the local economy.”
The Abergavenny Walkers are Welcome group plan to hold a large launch event at Easter, where it is hoped over 100 people will gather on Castle Meadows. The group’s next meeting is planned for 6pm March 12th at the Angel Hotel, Abergavenny. To join the group, or for more information, please contact Ruth Coulthard on 07528 225751 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Walkers are Welcome award initiative began in 2007 to encourage towns and villages to be ‘welcoming to walkers’. For more information about the scheme itself, please visit www.walkersarewelcome.org.uk.