On Saturday 12th February, Dursley Welcomes Walkers put on the first of a series of Saturday walks which are open to the local walking public to join. This is a new venture for us, and is in addition to the regular Dursley Walking Festival in October each year.
This first walk, however, was also special because it was designed to celebrate the recent improvements to the Lantern Way, the well-known 14 mile long circular walk that connects Dursley, Cam, Coaley and Uley.
Over the last year, eight new kissing gates have been put in to replace stiles along the Coaley section of the route. The kissing gates were funded by the Long Distance Walkers Association (Bristol and West Branch) and the work was done by the volunteer Cotswold Wardens.
A huge turnout of the public joined members of the LDWA and the Cotswold Wardens to make a group of 47 walkers who set off on the 6.5 mile route starting from outside the Cam Parish Council office.
The route passed through all 8 of the new kissing gates and the group stopped off at the new Coaley Village Shop for refreshments where they were greeted by Parish Councillor John Hobson.
David Ashbee, chair of Dursley Welcomes Walkers, who was involved when the Lantern Way route was originally designed, said: “On behalf of all the walkers in the Dursley area, we’d like to offer our sincere thanks to the LDWA for its generous contribution to improving our Lantern Way walk. A big thankyou also goes to the voluntary Cotswold Wardens who did all the hard work of removing the old stiles and putting in the new gates. This scheme has not only made the Lantern Way route slightly less demanding, but it has also made the paths more accessible for people walking locally in Coaley. We are very grateful to the Coaley farmers and landowners who gave their permission to carry out the improvements.”
Coaley Parish Chair, Stephen Cook, was unable to attend on the day but commented “Coaley Parish Council is very grateful to the Long Distance Walking Association and the Cotswold Wardens for the installation of kissing gates on the Lantern Way in Coaley. Improving access will bring visitors to the village where we have an excellent pub and a café in our new shop. Local walkers also now have another stile free route to use for shorter walks in the village.”
For more information of upcoming walks, visit the event programme on our website.