Gower Walking Festival
The Gower Walking Festival began in 2005 and has developed considerably over its eight years in terms of organisation, size and popularity.
Initially the programme consisted of twenty or so walks but has expanded in recent years with 45 walks in 2009 and over 70 walks and other activities in 2012 spreading beyond Gower to draw in more partners and participants. The festival has sought to broaden its appeal with guided walks to suit a wide range of interests, age groups and physical abilities - many walks have a theme such as heritage, wildlife, geology, food or photography - and cycle rides and water sport activities have been added to the programme. Participation has more than doubled in the past two years with over 1,500 bookings taken last year.
The festival encourages the use of local accommodation, local produce and public transport, as well as enjoyment of the area - at the end of last year the project won a Swansea Bay Tourism Award.
The success of the festival is largely down to the dedication and commitment of a team of volunteers that organise the programme, secure sponsors, and recruit the enthusiastic and knowledgeable walk leaders. The judges commented that the walks combine a strong social atmosphere, physical exercise and opportunities for learning. They felt that the festival has benefitted from a positive approach to working in partnership and utilising good networking and publicity.
2012 Community Project Award runners up