Walking Newtown was formed in 2012 by people interested in walking in the Newtown area but finding few available walks. Many of the footpaths on the OS maps were blocked, overgrown and generally inaccessible. There were also no published walks.
Identifying potential walks from the OS and definitive maps was the first stage and opening them up followed. This involved working with the Rights of Way & Access Officer in Powys County Council’s Countryside Services, who liaised with land owners and provided tools and equipment. All the volunteers in the group have undergone training in tool handling and health and safety, and a number of us were also trained in first aid.
The initial small group has grown to the current membership of 24 of whom about 12 people work twice a month throughout the spring, summer and autumn to replace old gates and stiles with new pedestrian gates, build steps and bridges, and clear paths. To date, we have put in more than 2000 volunteer hours of work. In the winter we write up our walks for publication on the official Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn web site. We regularly edit this site ourselves to keep it up to date. We also print fliers and individual walk leaflets for those without internet access.
Our other members walk the existing paths, help to keep them open and report any problems on the walks.
We have so far developed 17 circular walks, with more to come. We are working toward making new walks around town accessible for buggies, wheelchairs and mobility scooters so people with walking difficulties can still get out into the fresh air with their friends and family. We are also working with the Going Green for a Living consortium to improve the green spaces in town.
We always welcome new members so feel free to contact us.