New 50 mile walking trail route for Telford 50
A new 50 mile circular walking route through and around Telford and Britain’s newest long distance footpath opens this weekend as part of the town’s Telford 50 celebrations.
The Telford T50 50-Mile Trail has been created by a group of volunteers and connects existing footpaths and rights of way taking in many of the borough’s green open spaces.
The continuous route which can be joined and left almost anywhere, takes in Telford town centre, Madeley, Little Dawley, Woodside, Ironbridge, Little Wenlock, Wellington, Horsehay, Ketley, Oakengates, Muxton and Lilleshall.
With a notional “starting point” with route signage next to Telford Town Park’s visitor centre, the route’s website www.telfordt5050miletrail.org.uk has downloadable route maps, information and breaks the trail into seven bite-sized four to ten miles stages.
High points include the 1,335ft tall Wrekin hill and the Lilleshall Monument, as well as local nature reserves such as Dothill, the Beeches and Lodge Hill.
For those who simply want to follow the trail, volunteers have put up 700 Telford 50 Trail signs marking the 50 mile route clockwise around the borough.
The route has been funded by a £1,700 grant from the Council’s Telford 50 Legacy Fund and £600 from the EnviroGrant scheme run by the Council’s waste contractor Veolia.
Anne Suffolk, part of the volunteer-led Telford T50 50-mile Trail group, said: “We want to link as many of Telford’s wonderful green spaces as possible and we hope the trail will inspire people to discover the stunning scenery and open spaces right on our doorstep.
“We hope that this can become a real draw and bring many more people to a borough already well known for the walking routes it has to offer.”
Cllr Arnold England, cabinet member for Communities, Health & Wellbeing said: “This is another fabulous legacy of Telford’s 50th anniversary and we cannot thank the volunteers enough whose hard work has made it happen. It’s such a simple idea.
“We hope many more people will be inspired to step out, get active and involved in Telford 50. I am sure many of residents will want to use the trail to discover the beautiful green and open spaces that for so many of us are a very short distance from our homes.
“The website makes the routes accessible to so many people and I am sure this will become a real draw in attracting many more visitors to our borough.”
The Telford 50 mile trail will be opened on Saturday 16 June by Kate Ashbrook, chair of the national Ramblers organisation and patron of the Walking for Health scheme, borough mayor Cllr Raj Metha and council leader Shaun Davies
The Telford T50 50 Mile Trail which is entirely within Telford and Wrekin will join routes such as the Pennine Way, West Highland Way and Coast to Coast as one of the country’s long distance trails. With the wide range of accommodation in Telford, it is expected that many people will come to walk the whole route, making Telford a destinations for walkers.
The Council’s £2m Telford 50 Legacy Fund supports a mix of physical schemes as well as other projects that help tackle key social issues in the borough and reduce demand on council services.
Almost 1,400 people took part in a consultation in summer 2017 to find out what people wanted to see supported as a legacy of Telford 50. The most popular themes included heritage and tourism, arts and culture and recreation. People were also keen to see the funding allocated to support community events and projects such as this.