News

Wrapping up our 50th anniversary year!

That’s a wrap on our 50th Anniversary trailblazing year! 

As we reflect on an amazing 12 months, we want to say a massive thank you to our members, and everyone that has got involved, supported the charity, volunteered their time, sponsored our events, and raised funds to help us to care for, protect, and improve access to this world-class Trail today, and for future generations. 

Here are a few highlights.

Trailblazer Walk

Over 1,000 people joined us on our epic Trailblazer Walk, supported by Cotswold Outdoor, GWR, Devonia Water, Active Challenge, and Hattiers Rum. We couldn’t believe our luck as we experienced hot sunshine almost every day as we walked the full 630 miles over 35 days.

Coast Path Connectors

Funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund allowed us to open up coastal walking to new audiences. We established five Coast Path Connector hubs including Cornwall, North Devon, Plymouth, Torbay and Dorset. Our CPC officers have between them trained 26 volunteers who have given over 1,300 hours of their time to the project, organised over 200 walks with over 1900 walking experiences, worked with over 20 organisations to encourage and facilitate access to the Coast Path.

South West Coast Path Photographer of the Year Exhibition

The inaugural South West Coast Path Photographer of the Year exhibition showcased 23 images at Ocean Studios, Royal William Yard, and was supported by St Austell Brewery.

630 Miles Podcast

We launched our first ever podcast series, 630 Miles – an Audio Journey, hosted by volunteer Rachel Hadley-Leonard. The series has been streamed in 23 countries with an incredible 62 guests interviewed on a range of topics, over a grand total of 480 minutes! 

Coast Path Friendly Events

Over 15 Coast Path Friendly events took place on the Trail during 2023, putting money back into Path maintenance and improvements.

Fundraisers on the Trail

Eight individuals took on our Coast Path Challenge and Community Fundraising activities, raising over £15,500 to support our work.

Way Makers

We welcomed 40 new passport stamping points taking the number of places to get your passport stamped to 141 and now have 440 Way Maker businesses who welcome walkers enhancing the South West Coast Path experience.

Coast Path Passport

Launched our 50th anniversary commemorative edition of the Coast Path Passport, sponsored by the wonderful team at Luxury Coastal.

Path Improvements

We helped support 16 path improvement projects with the Association funding £40k in total. We were also successful in drawing in £196k additional project funding from Natural England which completed another 20 South West Coast Path improvement projects.

  • Our Step Up Appeal funded 500 step boards.
  • Our Find Your Way Appeal supported 76 new fingerposts and way markers.
  • Funding also contributed to 3x bridges, 2x boardwalks, 10x surfacing projects, 2x handrails, 6x gateway projects, 2x interpretation signage projects, 3x coastal realignment projects.

Volunteers

Volunteers are at the heart of the charity, and we were thrilled when Steve Church was honoured with a Coronation Champion award in recognition of his many years of voluntary work at the Association and were delighted to welcome 7 new Volunteer Path Reps to help us monitor the Trail and conduct the annual SWCP survey.

World Trails Film Festival

Hoisted the World Trails Film Festival at Royal William Yard as part of our 50th celebrations in June. 

Published on: Dec. 18, 2023