Driffield News

Great response to first Wold Rangers Way walking festival

Wold Rangers Way trustee Mark Blakeston has hailed the success of the charity’s inaugural Walking Festival.

The week-long event took place from 17th-24th June and walkers participated from far and wide to tackle one or more of the 19 guided walks.

The treks ranged from shorter ones at three miles – known as ‘Trods’ – to the full Wold Rangers Way of 44 miles which concluded the festival on Friday 24th June.

If you’d asked me the day after walking 44 miles if I’d be organising the festival again, I would have said no, however seeing the popularity and brilliant feedback, there is clearly a desire for it in the Wolds.

mark blakeston

Such was the popularity of the event, some of the walks even had a waiting list, with many booked up well in advance.

Mark said that the feedback the Wold Rangers Way Walking Festival has received has been brilliant.
“We had a really good turnout for every walk,” he told the Wolds Weekly.

“Beforehand, we had no idea how many would attend each one, but most walks actually had a waiting list on which meant that if anyone dropped out, the next on the list would be given a place.

“It ticked all the boxes for us in terms of getting local people out walking, which is one of the main reasons we set up the Wold Rangers Way, whilst we also welcomed a lot of people to Driffield and the Wolds.

“One of the most interesting aspects for me was when I spoke to people on various walks, I discovered they had come from so far away.

“A lot of had come from West Yorkshire, whilst others came from Lancashire, London and even Monmouth in Wales.

“We’ve heard some really good stories of people who’d never walked nine miles before doing so during the festival, whilst some did 44 miles for first time too.

“We didn’t have much of a budget, but we utilised social media and actually have a really good following on Facebook and many took part having seen it online.

“We put an advert in the National Ramblers Association summer issue which came out in late May and some who saw that told us they’d already booked their walking holidays for 2022, but it is an investment going forward for us.

“The weather was good to us, just a bit of rain on the last day, and the feedback we have received has been brilliant.”

Due to the success, Mark is deliberating whether to make the Wold Rangers Way Walking Festival a permanent fixture on the calendar.

He said that the festival could not have gone ahead without the support of volunteers.

“When planning the festival, I thought about what I would look for when out on a trail,” Mark said.

“We ensured that every walk was led by someone who knew what they were doing, whilst we also had backmarkers for each trail too.

“A lot of work was put into making sure that the routes were signposted and participants had the information they needed and were kitted out properly.

“We also added additional water stops since it was particularly warm that week.

“If you’d asked me the day after walking 44 miles if I’d be organising the festival again, I would have said no, however seeing the popularity and brilliant feedback, there is clearly a desire for it in the Wolds.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to all of our volunteers, who we relied on over different days.

“We also had lots of help from East Riding Ramblers and East Yorkshire Muddy Boots, whilst Yorkshire Wolds Way trustees were also very helpful when we organised a combined anniversary walk on 20th June.


“Finally, thanks to East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s countryside access team, in particular Sam McGivern.”

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