The National Trust has launched a new series of walks taking in twelve Wiltshire sites as part of the Wiltshire Landscape Walking Challenge.
In times where people are more sedentary than ever and children’s eyes seem to be constantly focussed on phones and tablets, these walks aim to encourage people to explore the outdoors more and spend their leisure time with the family.
Following on from the success of the popular Stonehenge and Avebury Walking Challenge, from which the ‘selfies’ shown in the photograph were taken, these twelve brand new walks are longer, more challenging and encompass all of the sites cared for by the Wiltshire Landscape team.
Lorretta Waters, National Trust Area Ranger said “Life’s so hectic now with more pressures than ever, so it’s important not to let it overwhelm you. Take some time to step into the peace and calm, let your eyes relax, take a deep breath and enjoy the natural world. You never know, you might see something wonderful, like a barn own in flight or a deer peeping from the woods.”
The walks average around 7 miles each totalling eighty-four miles if all are completed. They take in some spectacular landscapes including Cherhill and Calstone Downs (Marlborough), Cley Hill (Warminster), Dinton Park (Salsibury), Windmill Hill (Avebury) and Figsbury Ring (Salisbury) to name but a few.
All of these sites are cared for by the National Trust because of their outstanding beauty, preservation of archaeology and/or wildlife habitat.
Hazel Barry-Scott, Senior Visitor Experience Officer explains more. “The first walking challenge was a huge success, with over 600 people, their friends, family and dogs undertaking the challenge to walk 50km in the World Heritage Site. This time, we’re giving people the opportunity to walk further, explore a wider area and really get to see some of the lesser-known sites that the National Trust cares for.”
The challenge element comes from completing all the walks before the 30th April 2019. Those proving that they’ve done them (by taking a ‘selfie’ at each site) can enter a draw to win a Cotswold Outdoor voucher for £300.
A Wiltshire Landscape Walking Challenge pack costs £12 and consists of a map holder, 12 printed walks, tips and instructions, a free drink from the café at Avebury and a chance to enter the competition. To find out more go to www.nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury.