To celebrate our collective new-found freedom and that May is National Walking Month, we’ve teamed up with the lovely people at UltraBritain to bring you a ‘Coast Path Friendly’ virtual challenge which you can walk or run, and that gives back to the National Trail. You can clock up the miles wherever is easiest for you and track your progress on an interactive map of the SWCP over the next three months. That could be on the Trail itself if you are lucky enough to live in the South West, or on footpaths local to you if you are elsewhere in the world. This is a great way to get your Coast Path-fix even if you can’t visit in person, stay motivated to be active and make a difference for the Trail you love. Read on to find out how you can get involved.
What is the challenge?
During May the challenge is to cover the distance of all or part of the Minehead to Perranporth stretch of the Trail on foot (sections 1 – 23 in the Complete Guide to the SWCP). You have 4 options to choose from, depending on what suits you best:
- Minehead to Braunton (62 miles / 100km – equivalent to 3km per day for a month)
- Minehead to Clovelly (97 miles / 156km – equivalent to 5km per day for a month)
- Minehead to Port Isaac (152 miles / 245km – equivalent to 8km per day for a month)
- The full stretch Minehead to Perranporth (200 miles / 320km – equivalent to 10.4km per day for a month)
The June challenge will be to virtually cover all or part of Perranporth to Plymouth and July will be to virtually cover all or part of Plymouth to South Haven Point, more details for all three months’ challenges are on the UltraBritain website.
For International Trails Day weekend (Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th June) UltraBritain will also be offering a special additional challenge you can sign up for here where participants can choose a distance to cover over the weekend with a leaderboard, prizes and even a downloadable virtual ‘race bib’.
What is in it for you?
- A £2 discount on challenge entry if you are a SWCP Association member (use the code on the member offer page).
- A 10% discount on Association membership when you complete a SWCP challenge.
- A Trail postcard featuring your personal stats to help you feel closer to the Coast Path.
- A downloadable challenge certificate.
- A custom medal on completion of your challenge (if you prefer, UltraBritain can donate a tree on your behalf instead of your medal).
- Motivation to keep moving every day as we come out of lockdown!
What is in it for Path and Planet?
- As Coast Path Friendly event organisers, £1 per participant is contributed back to the SWCP Association by UltraBritain to support our work protecting and championing the National Trail.
- The opportunity for participants to donate to the SWCP Association on sign up, or to fundraise as part of their challenge (email our Fundraising Manager Genevieve for personal fundraising support).
- The opportunity for participants to choose to plant a tree with charity ‘Trees not Tees’ instead of receiving their medal if they are happy not to have one.
What difference does this make?
Money raised through fundraisers like the UltraBritain SWCP Challenge makes a real impact, here is the kinds of work it enables us to undertake:
- Championing: as a voice for the communities and habitats which the Trail connects – at local, regional and national levels including by influencing policy and planning.
- Empowering: Path-users of all backgrounds and abilities by providing the detailed information needed to access the National Trail safely and enjoyably, whilst also introducing beginner groups to the Coast Path in local group sessions.
- Restoring: responding to at-risk infrastructure highlighted by our volunteers as having been damaged by extreme weather events or by human impacts.
- Improving: upgrading the direction and character of routes to elevate the Path’s overall user-experience and suitability for the wildlife which calls this corridor home.
- Building resilience: we are developing future-proofing plans with our partners to safeguard the Coast Path’s existence through the climate crisis.
You can sign up for the challenge right now here or read more about our cause here. Enjoy and good luck!