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Walks

Background.

Linda Harrison originally organised the ‘Guided Health Walks’ starting from Faversham Library every Wednesday together with ‘U3A walks’ plus arranging and leading walks for Faversham Footpaths Group as well. We are pleased that although Linda was unwell a year or so ago, and stood back for a time, she has been back leading walks with us again.

All walks are open to members, their friends, relatives and others who may be interested in becoming a member of the Group. 

Faversham Town Council Active Travel Walks

Cllr (plus EC Member) Julian Saunders together with the FFG Walks Leader and the Town Clerk, Louise Bareham are to jointly lead FFG and Town Council walks for the Active Travel event that is taking place throughout June 2024.  

Faversham Footpaths Group has organised and run the first of these which were four walks during June 2024 to support the Town Council’s Active Travel Month. These are described as follows :-

FFG / FTC Active Travel Walk 2nd June 2024

We had perfect walking weather this morning and it was good to see the sunshine and have warmer temperatures after the recent chilly wet weather.

Thirteen of us set off from the West Faversham Community Centre towards a picturesque bridleway through Bysing Wood and onwards across fields to Luddenham Court Farm. We stopped for a break here where we could admire a beautiful copper beech tree, as well as St Mary’s Church, a hidden gem in a farmyard setting, designated a Grade 1 listed building and under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.

 Our walk continued to Uplees and a footpath that gave us magnificent panoramic views, where we were able to see the spire of St Peter’s Church, Oare, and crown spire of St Mary of Charity Church in Faversham in the distance.

 We made our way along Uplees Road to Oare and crossed Oare Meadow, a small Kent Wildlife Trust nature reserve which is fed by spring water creating wetland areas that support a number of wild flowers.

 We returned to our starting point via the shady woodland of the Oare Gunpowder Works, with many of the walkers promising to join our next walk in two days’ time.

 FFG / FTC Active Travel Walk 4th June 2024

Another fine, warm day for our second June walk. Ten of us met at Stonebridge Pond and made our way through the Cross Town Path to the railway station, where we crossed the bridge which would take us through Preston Park to the A2. I am often impressed by the courtesy of drivers on this busy road who slow down and allow us to cross safely, as they did today.

 A few minutes later we left the noise of the traffic behind and took a grassy path from Salters Lane across fields to a wide track between the motorway and meadows turned yellow with Buttercups to Selling Road, where we followed footpaths to Macknade Farm Shop. There are many pedestrian paths in Faversham which provide convenient routes into the town, and this morning we followed a long path through the Apple Estate and over the Long Bridge to the Recreation Ground, then through the town centre to the former Morrisons site. There is an attractive path here which follows the Creek Basin into Flood Lane which led us back to the pond.

FFG / FTC Active Travel Walk 25th June 2024

We are grateful that the warm summer weather has stayed with us through our June walks. We met in the Memorial Garden and walked out of town through Dorset Place to the A2, where we crossed the footbridge and took the path through Perry Court, no longer a country path, but surrounded by a green space left to grow naturally and planted with trees.

We crossed Brogdale Road and walked along a bridleway to Ospringe, where we explored the footpaths in the area, and were glad of the little woodland where we could stop and rest in the shade.

From there we walked to the top of the hill, which was quite challenging in the heat, but gave us some good views of the surrounding countryside. We walked through the churchyard to Water Lane, then back over the A2 to Ospringe Road, taking the path across The Mount playing field back to the centre of Faversham.

FFG / FTC Active Travel Walk 30th June 2024

Today’s route proved to be quite challenging when we carried out our recce because of overgrown vegetation, especially brambles, thistles and nettles, and I am very grateful to those Footpath Group members who gave up a morning to help me clear some of the footpaths to enable us to walk more safely today.

We took the Swale Heritage Trail out to St Bartholomew’s Church at Goodnestone. This pretty little 12 century Norman church has been looked after by the Churches Conservation Trust since 1996. In 1837 the outside porch was rebuilt due to severe damage caused by an earth tremor, but the church itself survived intact.

The route took us through a former hop field which had laid abandoned for a couple of years, but has now become a riot of colour after the planting of wildflowers of many different kinds. It was good to see the field restored in this way and thriving as a wildflower meadow.

Strawberry pickers were busy in the poly tunnels just before we reached the church, and we were pleasantly surprised when one of the farm workers brought a large crate full of freshly picked strawberries in boxes over to us as we passed by, and asked us to help ourselves! We hadn’t expected a strawberry feast on our walk and it was much appreciated.

Photos from all of these four walks are as on show following the text below :-

Faversham Town Council Walks

The Town Council did originally organise the last of the other walks which are being led by Cllr Saunders for a couple of evenings after the Council’s Active Travel month, starting at Standard Quay and going round the creek finally onto the walkways in front of Faversham Reach and Waterside Close. The walks are linked to the ambitions in the current Creek Plan and the Draft Neighbourhood Plan to have a continuous creekside path and will look at progress in opening up Creekside access and what still needs to be done.

Unfortunately following the recent death of Councillor Mike Henderson there will be a Swale BC  by-election in the next few weeks, which will mean that the Town Council and Councillors will have to observe election regulations again and not use council resources to do anything which could be seen as partisan in any way.

As a result Cllr Julian Saunders has agreed with the Town Clerk to postpone again the Creekside walks originally planned for June 2024 (and revised) to 12th July and 13th August 2024 and now to arrange some Autumn dates. You may recall these revised dates were brought about because of the General Election Campaign.

This is all rather unfortunate as it was an opportunity for both the Town Council and FFG to advertise and demonstrate these creekside walks during the FTC Active Travel Month that included (although not completed) those at Faversham Reach and Waterside Close that are legally through KCC available for full Public Access.

Julian apologises this is turning into a bit of a saga and he will let us know as soon as fresh dates are scheduled.

For these last two walks you will still need to sign up for the Town Council walks by visiting this page :-  https://favershamtowncouncil.gov.uk/active-travel-month-june-2024/ which also has details of other activities including those that our walks leader on behalf of FFG will leading as part of the Active Travel Month as detailed above.

The next Planned ‘regular’ FFG Sunday Walk will now probably be in July 2024

Details of our next walk will be announced shortly

Future FFG Walks

More 2024 walks will be announced when known.

The four FFG Active Travel Walks which took place on 30th June back to 2nd June 2024.

1. FFG Active Travel Walk 30th June 2024

2. FFG Active Travel Walk 30th June 2024

3. FFG Active Travel Walk 30th June 2024

4. FFG Active Travel Walk 30th June 2024

5. FFG Active Travel Walk 25th June 2024

6. FFG Active Travel Walk 25th June 2024

7. FFG Active Travel Walk 25th June 2024

8. FFG Active Travel Walk 25th June 2024

9. FFG Active Travel Walk 4th June 2024

10. FFG Active Travel Walk 4th June 2024

11. FFG Active Travel Walk 4th June 2024

12. FFG Active Travel Walk 4th June 2024

13. FFG Active Travel Walk 2nd June 2024

14. FFG Active Travel Walk 2nd June 2024

15. FFG Active Travel Walk 2nd June 2024

16. FFG Active Travel Walk 2nd June 2024