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LDWA History


Peaslake Post Office

Since its formation in 1972 (founders Chris Steer, Alan and Barbara Blatchford) the LDWA has grown steadily from 355 members and is now approaching 10,000 members. That growth, recognition in 1985 as the Governing Body for the long distance walking aspects of Rambling and becoming a Company Limited by Guarantee in 1999 have not prevented the LDWA retaining the feeling of a family of diverse individuals united by a common interest in long distance walking.

The Newsletter, containing details of challenge walks throughout the country, was also started in 1972, became 'Strider' in 1977 and is now a 100-page journal, published in April, August and December each year.

Local Groups are the life-blood of the Association, running led walks and other social events, organising Challenge Walks and running checkpoints on the Annual ‘Hundred’. The first Group was formed in 1973, also the first year of the ‘100’, and there are now 43 spread across the UK - although rather thinly in Scotland and there is no group so far in Northern Ireland.

Each Spring Bank Holiday Weekend sees our ‘flagship’ event, which entails walking 100 miles in 48 hours, being held in a different area ( 2010 Heart of Scotland, 2011 Shropshire, 2012 London and South East England, 2013 Cornwall and Devon, 2014 South Wales, 2015 East Lancashire, 2016 Dorset, 2017 North Yorkshire, 2018 Kent, 2019 Northumbria) with the Local Group playing a leading role as organisers and other LDWA Groups supporting, especially manning of the numerous checkpoints.

Similarly the Local Group Committees are composed of volunteers as is the National Committee of 12 members elected at the Annual General Meeting, held in a different part of the country over a weekend in March and including a choice of social walks.

One of the greatest attractions of the LDWA for many members is the database of Long Distance Paths. This contains details of 1,600 paths, including all the National Trails and many other walks over all parts of the UK, with downloadable mapping files for members.

The LDWA Timeline lists a number of notable events and developments in the first forty years of the Association.

The Story So Far 2019 presents 'a collection of Facts & Figures relating to the LDWA’s History' including a comprehensive section of Who's Done What.

 

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