So, with judging now underway in our current challenge, Chris describes yesterday’s All Wales Coast Path first anniversary event in West Wales and progress of our previous challenge winner.
GeoVation challenge partner, Ramblers Cymru hosted a fantastic event in Kidwelly, yesterday to celebrate the first anniversary of the opening of the Wales Coast Path and to launch the Big Welsh Walk, which takes place around the path this bank holiday weekend. The Wales Coast Path was, of course, the subject of our previous GeoVation challenge: “How can we connect communities and visitors along the Wales Coast Path?” which was timed to coincide with the official opening of the path on 5 May 2012.
Throughout the day, class after class of local school children (and adults) explored Wales and its coastline with Gwenda Owen, Ramblers Community Engagement Officer, on the enormous map produced by Ordnance Survey for Ramblers Cymru, and visited stands exhibiting activities on or near the path including local beekeeping, and allotment growing groups. In the afternoon MissionExplore (previous GeoVation winners) worked with several classes to produce mini mission explore booklets with children choosing their missions.
The Minister for Culture and Sport, John Griffiths AM, was also shown the new food finder app – Real Food Wales which celebrated going live at the event. This is the brain child of sisters Helen and Nicola Steer from South Wales, winners of our Wales Coast Path GeoVation challenge and part of a small company called Mapkin.
Described by them as “a foodie friend in your pocket”, the app helps you discover local, sustainable and delicious food along the Wales Coastal Path in Pembrokeshire. The app, which uses OS OpenData, is launching over the May bank holiday, and the first of the 5 winners of this challenge to launch. Helen said they hope to expand to include many other areas along the Wales Coast Path by the end of the summer.
This Saturday 4 May, they are hosting a Big Welsh Walk and Feast from Newgale to St Davids, “where we will be showcasing local breweries and food producers with free tastings.” You can find out more about it at www.mapkin.co.uk, or say hi on Twitter @mapkin .
At the same event our first ever, and our most recent GeoVation challenge winners were exhibiting – MaxiMap, MissionExplore and Real Food Wales!
Under brilliant blue Carmarthenshire skies we all joined the Minister, together with local school children and families, along the walk at Kymer’s Quay in Kidwelly, which forms part of the 870 mile Wales Coast Path.
What struck me was the initial vision of the Wales Coast Path, how it is now being brought to fruition and what it is inspiring – locally, nationally and indeed globally – by using Wales’ geographical assets. It was awesome and moving to talk to Arry Beresford-Webb, @dragonrun1027 and Dave Quarrell, @ walkwales1027 about their motivations and experiences in, respectively running and walking the whole of the Wales Coast Path plus the Offa’s Dyke Path in 40 and 82 days respectively, raising funds for their respective charities. Read Arry’s blog here.
To cap a fantastic day Maria Rocke, Project Officer at Kidwelly Town Council made a “walking boots” cake. Happy first birthday Wales Coast Path!