AGM 2022 - A message from our Chair Bob Mark


Dear Association Members 

The Association Board of Trustees and the Charity’s Director met in February, once the effects of the Omicron wave could reasonably be assessed, to consider whether this year’s AGM on Friday 10 June could make a complete return to our pre-Covid practice. Three options were considered: An in-person meeting; a hybrid arrangement using video-conferencing together with a limited in-person attendance; or a video-conference AGM on the pattern of last year’s successful AGM and SWCP Forum event, which enabled over 150 people to attend from across the UK and from as far afield as the USA.

As you will appreciate, while Covid is causing fewer incidences of serious illness in the general population, it is nevertheless highly infectious, particularly in indoor mass gatherings, and still high-risk for individuals with a suppressed immune response. Trustees were also mindful that there is uncertainty regarding the impact of the complete removal of Covid precautions in England.   

Trustee’s experience of holding ‘hybrid’ meetings this year has been mixed. The AGM in normal times takes a considerable amount of organisation and naturally absorbs a lot of management effort. The Association has a newly recruited senior management team. To add to these challenges, it has proved extremely difficult to secure a suitable hotel and conference venue booking. With all these factors in mind the Board decided that the best course is to hold a virtual AGM and SWCP Forum this year, together with four separate day walks on the Coast Path. These walks will be spread across the SW region to offer options to ease travel, and to give as many members as possible the opportunity to interact with Trustees, Staff and Path Reps informally in a stimulating environment. 

The Director and his team are looking at various venues, one in Somerset, one in Dorset, one in West Cornwall and one in Plymouth/South East Cornwall. Details of each walk will be made available on the AGM page of our website, and in our April newsletter. We look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible to the walks.  

The online AGM meeting will follow the pattern established successfully last year. The meeting will enable our usual governance matters to take place. There will be the opportunity for members to vote for nominated Trustees, and to approve the Annual Report and Accounts. We will also hear about plans for the Association’s 50th Anniversary in 2023. The Board are keen to make our 50th a truly memorable event and a working group is already hard at work sifting ideas and engaging with potential sponsors and partners. The working group would welcome any ideas you would like to contribute, which can be done by emailing [email protected] 

The 2021 Trustee’s Report and Accounts are being independently examined by our accountants Bishop Fleming. Once this is complete, we will share the report with members and set in place a process to allow members to review and comment prior to its approval at the AGM. The mechanics will be similar to the arrangements which were put in place and worked so well last year.

A rolling photo-wall of Path completers will be a feature of the virtual AGM as last year. It is appreciated that some completers would prefer to be presented with a certificate in-person. Trustees would like to offer the opportunity for members to be presented with their completion certificates on one of the day walks if this is preferred. Completing during the pandemic has been no small feat and deserves our congratulation. You will be able to choose this option as soon as the walk details can be shared. 

I do hope you will be able to join us for the virtual AGM and SW Coast Path Forum discussions and enjoy a walk on the Coast Path with representatives from this year’s Board of Trustees and from our team. We aim to share ourselves out across the four walks to join as many of you as possible. 

Best wishes   


Bob Mark,  

Chair - Board of Trustees. 


Published on: March 4, 2022