Newsletter May 2010
Hi I am Tim Lidstone-Scott and I head up the small team that manages the Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path National Trail. Two Trails in one really!
We have had a really exciting couple of years with a pretty impressive increase in the number of people using the route over the past 12 months. Volunteers have completed two major boardwalk replacements, we have launched new web pages, new Companion Guides, run education projects, completed an innovative signing project in partnership with businesses and joined Facebook!
So where to start?
Patrick Saunders our Works Coordinator runs the successful volunteer scheme which not only ensures that the whole route is inspected every two months but carries out practical maintenance. This last year, after six seasons they completed the replacement of over 600 metres of timber boardwalk through the sand dune of Holme National Nature reserve. We also completed 110 metres of boardwalk through the dunes of the Holkham National Nature Reserve at Burnham Overy Staithe. So, no more excuses to visit the sea side then Pat!
Part of the Peddars Way can legally be accessed by motor vehicles. Since 1986 when the route was opened by HRH Prince of Wales there has been a steady increase in its use by 4 x 4s. With a certain amount of serendipity and good partnership working, notably with the Sandringham Royal Estate and a couple of neighbouring landowners just about all of the damaged route has or is in the process of being completely re-profiled and reseeded. The completed sections are now a joy to walk and cycle on. We must acknowledge the influence of HRH Prince of Wales; without his input we would certainly not have progressed so quickly. Thank you Sir!
Before and after photographs
Have you ever gone for a walk and wondered just how far the local pub is from the path or wanted to pop into a local village for lunch but not known whether the shop is open? Well now on this Trail we have provided the answer. Working with 20 businesses along the route we have signed pubs, shops and cafes from the path along with distance and a telephone number to check they are open, to book a table or to get the first pint in!
Feedback from both users and businesses has been great. In one case even leading to one pub, the Dabbling Duck at Great Massingham starting to provide backpacker camping with a free breakfast thrown in. Now that is a good deal because their food is excellent.
Alongside this signing we have also worked with the Coasthopper bus service to sign the bus stops from the route and at the same time have created a new distance chart for the Norfolk Coast Path that gives the distance along the path between bus stops.
To make it easier to plan your walk we have added new pages to the web site that not only helps the planning of bus and trains to the route but also new downloadable pdfs that guide you along the trail. This route is for shorter local routes as well as the pack carrying distance yomper.
Helen Timson our Projects Assistant has also been busy producing the Companion Guide, a pocket size publication stuffed full of accommodation, public transport information and detail of the services to be found in villages close to the route
With a local high school Patrick and Helen have worked on a stats project involving 60 students in an analysis of our user survey and counter data. In addition to this a further 40 students utilised the data to enhance their learning of statistics. The Head teacher thanked the National Trail for getting involved and commented “All too often work in classrooms can feel alien to the real world. The chance for our students to process data for a real audience was enormously motivating.”
Finally our Facebook site! Now setting that up was an experience! I should say that I am a 50 something bloke who’s closest brush with any form of social media was when one of my adult kids mentioned it in conversation.
It has taken some weeks for me to establish the site. I initially set it up in my own name and was completely freaked out when Facebook immediately replied with a list people who I might like to make my friends, most of whom I actually knew. Now how did that happen?
Anyway I have finally settled on a site under the Trail name and it is already proving popular.
Give it a look.
Have a good summers walking, cycling or riding.