Great South West Walk exceeds half a million!

The South West Coast Path Association’s Great South West Walk came to a grand finale on Tuesday 7th May, raising over £500,000 for 90 improvement projects to the entire South West Coast Path covering Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.

The north and south coast relays, which have been traveling from Poole on the south coast and Minehead on the north coast since the beginning of April, met at Land’s End with an address from Malcolm Bell – Head of Visit Cornwall and Andrew Lack – Chair of the South West Coast Path Association.

The pair of red walking boots, which were separated at the start and have been passed from day to day, were reunited at the special celebration as the news broke that half a million pounds had been surpassed.

With an original target of £250,000 for 50 small but significant improvement projects to the path, over and above general maintenance, this amount was raised through corporate sponsorship and grants before the event even began.

Now thanks to nearly 1000 sponsored walkers, the new total of £500,000 will enable approximately 90 improvement projects to be delivered, from addressing the problems of cliff falls, through to drainage and restoration.

Chairman of the Great South West Walk, Ken Carter, is overwhelmed by people’s love of the path saying:

“To celebrate our 40th anniversary this year, The South West Coast Path Association organised the Great South West Walk, with the aim of raising £250,000 for 50 improvement projects around the 630 miles of South West Coast Path.  We were delighted when this amount was secured before the event even started from companies sponsoring legs of the walk or improvement projects, alongside grants from Natural England and the Rural Development Programme for England”.

Ken continued:

“With the support of sponsored walkers who love the path and wanted to give some TLC back to it, yesterday’s final legs of the relay brought the total to over £500,000.  With this funding, we hope to have 90 projects completed by the end of the year. This is with thanks to our funders, walkers and the partners on the ground that have ensured that our event has been a huge success”.

Malcolm Bell – Head of Visit Cornwall helped receive supporters of the event at the celebrations at Land’s End yesterday, making an address on the importance of the Coast Path – highlighting its economic and social value to the region.

Andrew Lack – Chair of the South West Coast Path Association talked about historic aspects of the Association and thanked the commercial sponsors and partners, funding bodies, path managers, walk leaders and walkers plus those involved in organising and running the event.

A large number of countryside organisations supported the event including the South West Coast Path Team, the National Trust, County Councils and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty Teams, along with local walking groups & numerous tourism businesses.  The Western Morning News, Cornwall Today and BBC Radio Solent, Devon and Cornwall also ensured that the event stayed in the spotlight.

After the reception, walkers and supporters were invited to visit work underway with one of the improvement projects at Land’s End.

More information about each leg of the walk, photos and improvement projects is available at  You can also follow progress on Twitter @LoveSWCoastPath.

Published on: May 9, 2013