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Members of a steering group are striding ahead in their ambitions to achieve ‘Walkers are Welcome’ status for Abergavenny.
Ruth & Family on Blorenge

Ruth Coulthard (third left) out walking with her family on the Blorenge

They are seeking to recruit some more volunteers and develop a range of projects to help mark out Abergavenny as a walking destination and have called a meeting on Tuesday September 25 at 6pm at The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny to encourage new interest and generate ideas.


The steering group’s chairman, Ruth Coulthard, Funding Development Manager with Brecon Beacons National Park Authority said: “Abergavenny is a perfect destination for walkers, having lots of different types of routes in the mountains as well as along the valleys and canals. It is also the starting point of the Beacons Way and close to the Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail. This, coupled with the wide variety of shops and facilities, makes it an ideal candidate for the Walkers are Welcome status. We hope by gaining this award we can put Abergavenny firmly on the walking map and encourage more people to visit our town and businesses.


“To achieve the award, we need a proactive group of people to help us bring all the walking projects together and think of new ways we can encourage walkers and make them feel more welcome. We also need to show that we care for and help maintain the various routes around the local area. You don’t have to be a walker to join in. We would welcome anyone with ideas on how we can work together and meet the needs of visitors”.


Abergavenny is one of three Monmouthshire towns involved in the national Walkers are Welcome scheme. They have all been encouraged by adventa, part of the county’s rural development programme, which is able to make some small capital grants available to accommodation providers who wish to improve facilities for walkers as part of the initiative.


Zara Bligh, from adventa said: “Monmouthshire is increasingly putting itself on the map as a wonderful year-round walking destination. Chepstow became a Walkers are Welcome town earlier this year, in May and Monmouth has submitted an application and will hear whether they have been successful shortly.


“Walkers are Welcome is a great way for communities to get together to raise their town’s profile with walkers, consolidating the walking offer in a town and positively impacting the local economy.”


In the past year there has also been a push to achieve accreditation by towns in the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. In August Talgarth became the first town in the National Park to be awarded membership of the network of Walkers are Welcome towns and Crickhowell and Hay-on-Wye are also working towards the status.


Ruth Coulthard, who is now on the National Committee of Walkers are Welcome said: “I first became aware of this accreditation when I visited Ross-on-Wye last year. I was so impressed by what they have achieved there that I volunteered to help start to gain the accreditation for Abergavenny. I am excited to be working also with other nearby communities – all of whom have been similarly enthused to work towards this award.”


Until Chepstow gained Walkers are Welcome status earlier this year, Ross-on-Wye was the nearest town to have succeeded in its bid. It is the venue for this year’s national Walkers are Welcome annual conference on October 21 and 22.


For more details about the meeting in Abergavenny please contact the town’s Walkers are Welcome steering group at


For more information about the grants available to accommodation providers in Monmouthshire, in conjunction with a move to gain Walkers are Welcome status, Zara Bligh can be contacted on 01633 748311 or email

Press release by Adventa

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