Newsletter - March 2019

As you can see from the following list, there's already a lot to look forward to this year. I hope you choose to support many of the events, either as a competitor or a volunteer.

The newsletter begins with an account of one of the group's more traumatic walks. For those of us who were there, it has definitely left an indelible mark.

In this month's newsletter:

  • A Day to Remember ... for all the wrong reasons!;
  • Walk Leader Needed - Sunday 31st March 2019;
  • Walks Attendance Register;
  • Pewsey Downsaround (PDA);
  • Dorset Giant;
  • Ridgeway 40;
  • Hadrian Hundred;
  • Mid-Wilts Way;
  • Corsham Walking Festival - 7th, 8th & 9th June 2019; and
  • Forthcoming Walks



A Day to Remember ... for all the wrong reasons!


From John Walker:

"When we first saw the silhouette, we thought it was just one of those black, life size images of soldiers that were put up to commemorate Remembrance Sunday. There were plenty of them in early November, especially near the Salisbury Plain area. It was just inside a small copse, not far from Bath racecourse.

The Wiltshire LDWA group was walking the Cotswold Way in five stages and this particular Sunday we were covering the last ten miles. We aimed to get into Bath in time for an early lunch, then we would have a guided tour of the city centre by one of our local members.

The plan was to reach Prospect Stile, a pretty hill with stunning views, by 11am. We would then have two minutes silence to remember those who fell in the wars. However, we had made good time on our morning trek and we arrived half an hour early. So we had our coffee break and enjoyed the views. It was only when most of the group had moved on that the last few of us realised that the 'silhouette' was not what we had assumed. Someone remarked how tasteless it was that the figure had been tied up by its neck. On closer inspection it was clear that it was a dead body hanging from a low branch in the woods.

He was a young man, probably in his twenties. His eyes were closed and he was suspended by a thin black cord, not much thicker than a bootlace. One of us approached the poor man and touched his cheek. It was stone cold so there was no point in cutting him down. The police would anyway treat the area as a crime scene and they would not welcome any interference with the deceased before they arrived.

We were just about to phone the emergency services when a man ran over to us in a hi-vis jacket with 'Race Marshal' printed on it. He was visibly shaken and said he had just phoned the police a few minutes before and they should arrive soon. We left the matter in his hands but not before giving ourselves a communal hug as the whole experience had been quite a shock, to say the least.

We learned later that when the police arrived, they closed off that section of the Cotswold Way and the running race that was planned for that day had to be diverted. To add more than a little confusion to this tragic tale, the police later discovered a second body nearby.

We continued our walk and reached the next hill just before 11am. Here we held our two minutes silence. We not only remembered the war dead - we also spared a thought or two for the young man whose body we had just found, wondering what had driven him to such an early death in such beautiful surroundings.

Walking around Prospect Stile a few days after this sad discovery, the area was so full of life with families enjoying their country walking and the superb views. The only hint of the tragic event earlier in the week was a small wreath that had been tied to the waymarking post by the viewpoint."


Prospect Stile



Walk Leader Needed - Sunday 31st March 2019


From Andy Todd:

"Unfortunately Vie Lapendry is unable to lead her forthcoming walk from the viewpoint car park at Birdlip.

If you are able to lead a walk from this location, on this day, please contact me at If no walk leader is found the walk will have to be cancelled."



Walks Attendance Register


From Lesley Bellis:

"Our regular walkers will have noticed that on the last two walks we have been making a list of those who attend. This is a directive from the the LDWA's National Executive Committee at the request of our insurers. These lists will be kept in accordance with the LDWA's rules governing data protection."



Pewsey Downsaround (PDA)


From Lesley Bellis

"It’s nearly PDA time and we have a reputation to maintain for providing excellent food at all our checkpoints as well the hot meal at the end, which this year will be chilli and macaroni cheese. To make this a success I need you lovely bakers to get your ovens on and get baking. If any of you can make suitable food for the checkpoints i.e. anything that can be eaten with fingers, particularly savoury items, please let me know. Please keep your receipts as you will be reimbursed for the cost of your ingredients ... plus some fresh (very) free range eggs."



Dorset Giant


From Lesley Bellis:

"We could do with a couple of extra volunteers if anyone can spare the time to join us on Saturday 13th April. It will be a fairly intense couple of hours as we are the first checkpoint and walkers will come through thick and fast. We will be providing cold drinks, i.e. water and squash, as well as snacks which the Dorset group will provide and bring to the checkpoint. They would like us to be at the checkpoint, located at grid reference SY579852, by 1030hrs ready to open at 1115hrs. We will close as soon as everyone is through at an expected time of 1245hrs. Anyone who arrives later than that has no chance of completing on time. The Dorset group has asked if any of our volunteers have water jugs and portable tables i.e. decorating or picnic tables, pleas can we can bring them with us. I have some jugs which I will bring along with a table. We could do with a couple more of each, please. Marshalling checkpoints is always fun. If you haven’t experienced it before, and wonder what happens, this is a perfect opportunity."



Ridgeway 40


Volunteers are still required to help out on this popular one-day 40-mile challenge event along part of the Ridgeway National Trail from Overton Hill to Goring. This year's event is on Saturday 11th May and the organisers are looking for volunteers for the checkpoints. The checkpoints are only open during daylight hours and volunteers are paid expenses for petrol.

If you want an enjoyable and sociable day out supporting this great event, please volunteer by e-mailing



Hadrian Hundred


Northumberland Flag

From Lesley Bellis:

"Our checkpoint will be open from 0200hrs on Sunday 26th May until around 1900hrs that night. We are sharing the checkpoint with the Kent group, each doing a shift of around 8 hours. We are taking the first shift and we will need to be in position at Watersmeeting Farm on Alston Moor - grid reference NY814337 - from 0100hrs. We will handover to Kent at around 0900hrs. The Northumberland group will be providing us with the resources we need to make hot and cold drinks, as well as snacks for us to serve.

We will be offering financial assistance at £100 per car for volunteers as well as a limited edition polo shirt for those walking and volunteering, though colour has yet to be decided. It will bear our logo on the left and Northumberland’s logo on the right. The big problem is deciding what colour they are going to be. Please offer any suggestions regarding colour to a committee member and we will order the most popular colour. Clive's suggestion for a shirt in the colours of the Northumberland flag was thrown out!"



Mid-Wilts Way


From John Walker:

"There has been a good response for this linear walk through the heart of Wiltshire. Around 20 people have already put their names down to walk the 3 sections:

  • Sunday 9th June 2019 - Ham to Knap Hill (22 miles)
  • Sunday 7th July 2019 - Knap Hill to Steeple Ashton (22 miles)
  • Sunday 28th July 2019 - Steeple Ashton to Mere (24 miles)

Details of each walk can be found on the Future Events section of the Wiltshire LDWA website. Walkers will park their cars at the day's destination and take a coach to the start. In view of the good response so far, a coach, rather than a minibus, will be used.

There are still places available. Please contact me at if you want to join us on this walk through our home county."


Corsham Walking Festival - 7th, 8th & 9th June 2019


From Barry Cox, CWF2019 Publicity Coordinator:

"Returning for its sixth year, this event is already a firm fixture for those who love the great outdoors and enjoy walking festivals. Corsham is a medieval market town that sits on the fringe of the Cotswolds AONB and in the heart of the beautiful rolling North Wiltshire countryside on paths dating back to Roman times.

Whatever you're walking ability, or interest, our festival offers walks that will tempt you.

There are 27 walks planned over the three days of the festival, many of them themed with talks given by experts. Many walks start from the Springfield Community Campus in Corsham, others from local villages, all are carefully planned to offer insights into Corsham and the local area, landscape and history of our beautiful countryside.

This year we are including a free walks programme, and our ever-popular Saturday evening entertainment will include a buffet and quiz. Who could ask for more?

Tickets for this year's Corsham Walking Festival go on sale on 1st April.

Save the date and keep an eye on our website at or join our Facebook group to keep in touch with all things walking in and around Corsham. You can also engage with the festival at #corshamwalkfest."

Corsham Walking Festival 2019



Forthcoming Walks


Finally, here's the usual look ahead to all the group walks and challenge events that are taking place this month within a 50-mile radius of the geographical centre of Wiltshire.


Date Name Type Mileage Organiser
Sun 3rd Mar 2019 Range Rover's Return Ramble Group 20ml. Wiltshire
Wed 6th Mar 2019 To the river (and back!) Group c15ml. Thames Valley
Wed 6th Mar 2019 What a Sham(e)! - Event Details Updated Group 15ml. Bristol & West
Sat 16th Mar 2019 Border Patrol Group 23ml. South Wales
Sun 17th Mar 2019 A Meander over the Marlborough Downs Group 19ml. Wiltshire
Mon 18th Mar 2019 Robin's Walk Group 16ml. Bristol & West
Wed 20th Mar 2019 Hungerford and Kennet and Dun river valleys Group c14.5ml. Thames Valley
Thu 21st Mar 2019 Chuting for Goal Group 16ml. Wiltshire
Sat 23rd Mar 2019 Exploring Ashton Court Group 15ml. Bristol & West
Sun 24th Mar 2019 Crossing the Hamble Group 18ml. Wessex
Sun 24th Mar 2019 Nettlebed circular Group c20ml. Thames Valley
Sat 30th Mar 2019 Hampshire Hop Group c19ml. Surrey
Sat 30th Mar 2019 St Arvans & Boughspring Group 17ml. Bristol & West
Sun 31st Mar 2019 A Shaby Walk Group 14ml. Wiltshire
Sun 31st Mar 2019 Church Crawl Group 20ml. Dorset
Sun 31st Mar 2019 Goodbye Mad March Group c20ml. Thames Valley


This e-mail has been sent to 500+ Primary and Associate group members. If you wish to opt out of receiving e-mails from us, you will need to change your e-mail preferences by logging onto the LDWA website. The newsletter is also shared with the 6,500+ members of the LDWA Facebook group.

That's it for another newsletter. All our newsletters are available via the Wiltshire LDWA website. If you have anything to contribute to future editions, please can you get it to me by the 20th of each month. I look forward to seeing you out on our group walks this month.

Warmest regards


Secretary of the Wiltshire LDWA