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  • Ian Blyth

Walkfest 2020 - The case of the moving goalposts!

Since our last blog post, the situation with Covid and the related Government guidance has evolved significantly. You will all be aware that efforts are being made to open up businesses and the countryside whilst maintaining social distancing.

Based on our current understanding of the guidance and the ways that other organisations are interpreting it, we believe that we can run Guildford Walkfest 2020. However, it will look very different to the Walkfest events

of previous years and there will be less than last year’s 60 different walks across the month.

Many of our regular partners and walking groups are keen to get some activity up and running and are happy to be part of the festival. Also, we have continuing support from our sponsors - Bevan Wilson Physiotherapy Clinic, Guildford Borough Council, Experience Guildford and Surrey Hills Society – without whom Walkfest would not be viable.

The most obvious basic control is that our walks will have no more than 5 participants plus walk leader. Where there is demand, we hope to be able to put on multiple groups with different departure times or to run the same event on more than one occasion during the month. It is possible that allowed group numbers may change by September but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

Another change is that we will focus on the shorter walks. This helps where we need multiple departures but, more importantly, it reduces the need to plan routes around toilets and refreshments being available. An added benefit is that the shorter walks will work for those who are new to walking or unable to cope with greater distances – groups who are key to the success of Walkfest.

This year, the tight timelines for organising walks plus the uncertainties around evolving guidance mean that we have decided not to have a printed brochure. Consequently, it is even more important for you to check back with this website on a regular basis – where a walks programme will appear.

Of particular importance to the viability of Walkfest is that all walks will need to be pre-booked. We are still sorting out the details for this so “watch this space”!

We are all looking forward to getting out more to walk in our wonderful borough and its countryside so keep an eye on our website and book as soon as you can to help us manage demand.

Keep healthy, keep fit, keep walking.

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