With Guildford Walkfest 2016 fast approaching, Joining In! co-ordinator David Rose will be taking part, leading three history / nature walks based on those he has produced as self-guided walk leaflets.
David said: “I was delighted when the organisers of Guildford Walkfest asked me to lead some walks this year. My three and new ‘Westborough Walks’ appealed to them as they are a bit different from some of the other walks in the festival and fit perfectly with the idea of getting people out and about by walking areas where perhaps they would not initially think of going to.”
David has written and designed three free self-guided walks leaflets, so people can get out and about in the Westborough and Park Barn area to discover places and learn about the rich heritage and history of the area. The walks he will be leading, with lots of history facts along the way, are based on these and further dates are planned following on from this year’s Guildford Walkfest.
He said: “The self-guided Westborough Walks leaflets are aimed at local people and are available in the local area, but anyone can come and see the rich history of this part of Guildford and some of the natural history as well, that is within and borders an area that many people think is just streets and houses. So, people can do the walks themselves or join me as and when I offer the guided walks. I can also arrange to give the guided walks to groups and organisations, all free of charge.
The walks vary from one to three miles in length and the leaflets not only have lots of details about things to see and fascinating facts while you are out walking, but they contain a map of the walk and instructions on where to go, so no one should get lost!
“David added: “The one-mile walk is based on the Westborough Trim Trail that threads its way through the green parts of Westborough. This has been in place for a couple of years now and was installed by Guildford Borough Council, with funding from Travel SMART.
“There are items of fitness equipment along the way that people can use. I thought it was a perfect and fairly easy walk for people to try. My leaflet gives details of when this was a Medieval royal deer park, plus some facts about the area during the First World War and the general development of Westbrough.
“The walk In The Footsteps Of The Romans, starts and finishes at the Park Barn Social Centre off Park Barn Drive. It is three miles in length and takes walkers out on to Broadstreet Common where there was a Roman villa and farm.
“I believe this is an incredibly important piece of our local history that rarely gets mentioned! When you stand on the common today you might like to imagine what it was like for those early settlers.
“There is also a lot of natural history here with several species of butterflies, birds and bats. The walk also takes in what is locally known as ‘reservoir hill’, off Woodside Road, where there are some great views across Guildford, and on into the distance you can see the London skyline.
“The third walk is called Tracing A Medieval Royal Deer Park. Again starting from the Park Barn Social Centre, the walk goes through the University of Surrey’s Manor Farm campus and skirts the Surrey Sports Park. To the edge of the sports fields, near the new veterinary centre, is another amazing piece of Guildford’s history, only known to a few.
“Within a clump of trees is the remains of a moat that once circled a manor house – part of the Medieval royal deer park. Unfortunately, access to it is not allowed, but a public footpath passes close by. Here royaly stayed when they came to hunt deer all those years ago.
“The development of this part of Guildford is right on the footprint of past generations – from the Romans, the Medieval deer park, and later farms which were finally sold off for the plots and areas of develpment we see today, to the new developments taking place by the university.
“This third walk also includes the circular road around the Surrey Research Park. I think it is an interesting place to go and to have a look at the high-tech firms who are based there in an interesting setting. I have spoken to many people who live nearby and they say they have never been there.”
Surrey County Council’s Travel SMART initiative, that provides people with more travel choices and help them cut carbon, calories and cost, funded David’s research, writing, designing and printing of the self-guided walks leaflets and for him to offer regular guided walks, to the tune of £3,000. This has been within his work with Joining In!, that supports community involvement in the Westborough, Stoke and Ash and Tongham wards of Guildford borough. Joining In! is managed by Voluntary Action South West Surrey.
David said: “It has taken some time for me to devise the walks, research the history, and to design and get the leaflets into print. The routes had to be carefully checked and a number of people kindly walked them to test them out and made useful suggestions. They are now available locally including at the Park Barn Social Centre off Park Barn Drive, or from me on 07825 419408, or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .”
You can also click on the leaflets here and print them out yourself or save them to your computer.
Guildford Walkfest 2016 runs from September 17 to October 2.
The free walks that David will be leading as part of Guildford Walkfest 2016 are:
Tracing A Medieval Royal Deer Park: Saturday, September 17, starting at 10.30am. Meet at the Park Barn Centre, off Park Barn Drive, GU2 8EN.
In The Footsteps Of The Romans: Friday, September 23, starting at 10.30am. Meet at the Park Barn Centre, off Park Barn Drive, GU2 8EN.
Westborough Trim Trail: Thursday, September 29, at 2pm. Meet at the Park Barn Centre, off Park Barn Drive, GU2 8EN. If anyone was unable to go on either of the two previous walks led by David in the same area (September 17 and 23), he will be pleased to lead one of those straight after the trim trail walk. You will need to go on the trim trail walk to take part in the second walk as the start time of the second walk cannot be guaranteed. The walk with the most interest from those taking part on the day will be chosen.
He will also leading the walk In The Footsteps Of The Romans, on Sunday, September 18, starting at 10.30am. Meet at the Park Barn Centre, off Park Barn Drive, GU2 8EN. This is not part of Guildford Walkfest, but is again free and all are welcome to go along.
Further free guided ‘Westborough Walks’ by him will be arranged and advertised.