A Walk On The Wildside – Report

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Latest News – As of 7th October, we are pleased to announce that the estimated total raised is £1400, with more sponsorship monies and donations still coming in, thank you to everyone!

The walk was attended by approximately sixty walkers, who set off from the event starting point, Collingwood College at about 9:00 AM and 9:30 AM, in two roughly equal sized groups. The weather very kind to us, it was a dry and warm September day, towards the end of the walk we even saw some sunshine, ideal conditions for a walk! The main route was five miles long, but there was a shorter three mile version available too.

The Mayor of Surrey Heath (who is also one of our trustees) Councillor Sarah Jane Croke was on hand to open the event and set the walkers off. The route took the walkers out of the college, through the Old Dean housing estate and out on the undulating woodland and wild heathland areas of Poors Allotment and Barossa Heath, which are part of the Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Area. These reserves are managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust, who with the help of volunteers have returned the heathland to good health. Detailed information about the history of the area and the route map may be found at:

https://www.sh-ac.org.uk/a-walk-on-the-wildside-latest-news/.

Friendly marshals were to be found on route, to provide assistance and information if required and to ensure no one lost their way. Mike from Thames Basin Heaths Partnership was out on the heath too, to provide walkers with information about the heathlands and the wildlife species which inhabit the reserve.

Our route took us past: the historic Wish Stream, (part of the Surrey-Berkshire county border), Kings Ride, used by King George III as a short cut to and from Windsor Castle when visiting his fleet at Portsmouth, Wishmoor Bottom and Saddleback Ridge. The monstrous BT Communication Tower marked the end point of the rural section of the route, from there it was just a short walk past the houses and back to the walk finish.

On the heathland sections we spotted the late flowering heather, fungi, the golden, autumnal bracken and the huge cattle which graze the heath during the summer months, to keep the scrub down were a particular highlight.

This event was made possible by the hard work of many people, too many to list everyone here. A well deserved thank you to our Event Organiser Charles, Charity Manager Tracy, Chair of the Trustees Gwen, Trustees: Denis, David and Jonathan, our Treasurer Sandra; all of whom have worked tirelessly over the last few months to ensure the success of this event. Thank you to all our marshals, the police cadets, Councillors Shaun Garrett and Alan McClafferty. Thanks to Collingwood college for allowing us to use their car park, which provided an excellent starting and finishing point. Most importantly, thank you to all our walkers and everyone who donated.

The event was a huge success, a fantastic time was had by all our walkers, but the real winners are the lonely, isolated, vulnerable and elderly folks in our community. Much needed funds were raised for our charity, which will enable us to continue our vital work and to help even more people. We hope to make this an annual event, but are awaiting office confirmation of this, so we shall hope to see even more of you there next year!