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Neptune’s trident heralds South West Coast Path Challenge

Bill Morris of the National Trust (Lead Ranger, Leigh Woods) and Hayley Partridge of the South West Coast Path Association, receive the Neptune trident from National Trust Wales volunteer Bob Smith (in background) in Chepstow, at the end of the Welsh Coast Path. Credit: National Trust/Athena Picture AgencyAfter an epic 870-mile trek round the Welsh coast, the National Trust in Wales handed over the ‘baton’ – a specially carved trident inspired by Neptune –– to the South West, to take up the next big coastal challenge.

On the South West Coast Path this October, this unique wooden trident will be carried in honour of Neptune, the Roman god of the sea, and as the figurehead of the National Trust’s 50-year Neptune Coastline Campaign to protect and care for the coast – its longest and most successful campaign to date.

At Chepstow, the end of the Welsh Coast Path, today (Wednesday 5 August), Bill Morris, National Trust Lead Ranger at Leigh Woods and Hayley Partridge of the South West Coast Path Association accepted the trident from National Trust Wales’s volunteer Bob Smith, who walked the full 870 miles – in preparation for the South West Coast Path Challenge which opened this month for registrations.

Across the South West, people are gearing up for the South West Coast Path Challenge this October. The South West Coast Path Association is leading on this event in partnership with the National Trust, as part of the Trust’s year-long Coastal Festival to celebrate 50 years of coastal conservation. 

The event, backed by TV adventurer Monty Halls, aims to set a new world record for the number of times the 630-mile South West Coast Path can be covered in one month while raising funds to protect the coastline enjoyed by millions each year. 

Participants can create their own challenges, which can be anything from 1 mile to all 630 miles – every mile counts! Or join one of four organized 10-mile Challenge events, when Neptune’s trident will be proudly carried: 

  • Saturday 3 October – Minehead to Porlock Weir, North Devon and Exmoor
  • Saturday 10 October – Gunwalloe to Lizard Point, Cornwall
  • Saturday 24 October – Admiral’s Hard to Mount Batten Centre, Plymouth
  • Saturday 31 October – Durlston Country Park and Castle to South Haven Point, Dorset

Monty Hall said: “‘I am a huge fan of the South West Coast Path – some of my happiest memories have been running and walking it, and it snakes right past my house in Dartmouth. I feel it’s one of the most miraculous trails in Europe.” 

Hayley Partridge of the South West Coast Path Association said: “Taking part in the South West Coast Path Challenge month is a great way of spending time with the family in the great outdoors, keeping fit and healthy, while getting a sense of achievement at the same time. Whether you want to tackle a short but demanding section, or take on the whole 630 miles, there’s a walk out there for all ages and levels of ability.”

Mark Harold, National Trust South West Regional Director said: “We’re pleased to be working in partnership with the Association on their flagship event as part of our Coastal Festival celebrations this year. We look forward to seeing how many miles we can clock up in one month.”

Register to take part at www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/events/challenge and share the challenge on social networks using #Challenge630

Over the last 50 years, public and partnership support has helped raise over £65 million for the National Trust’s Coast campaign, safeguarding 775 miles of coastline across the England, Wales and Northern Ireland – 300 miles of which are in the South West.  

Throughout 2015, the South West Coastal Festival celebrates all that has been achieved in coastal conservation and access, and looks forwards to the future. The coast in the South West is visited and enjoyed every year by more than 22 million people, and the future on-going protection of these places is essential if the coast is to remain beautiful and accessible for future generations. 

Coastal events are taking place at National Trust places across the South West, and more information on 2015 Coastal Festival programme can be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/swcoast  

Published on: Aug. 5, 2015