Over 200 people celebrated the opening of the Wales Coast Path on May 5th by walking the Chepstow to Sudbrook section in fine weather. The Path runs along the entirety of the Welsh coast from Chepstow to Queensferry in Flint and walkers started at the very beginning in Riverside Park, following the new dragon shell signs through the town and on to Mathern, Blackrock and Sudbrook.
Scouts lead the way Leaving Chepstow for Mathern
The event was a huge success thanks to the hard work of many volunteers in the months before and on the day itself. Litter and fly tipping were cleared by Coast Path volunteers, Keep Wales Tidy teams, Tidy Towns and Gwent Wildlife Trust while members of the Lower Wye Ramblers, Chepstow Town Council and the Chepstow Walkers are Welcome Committee also generously donated their time.
Monmouthshire County Council Countryside staff and volunteers ensured all signs were in place and that the path was passable with staff at the local tourist information centre also playing their part. Walkers were grateful to local businesses for donations including free bottled water from Asda and the loan of a water urn from St Pierre Golf Club.
The council’s Coast Path Officer, Helen Howlett, welcomed everyone to the celebrations of the opening of the Coast Path and also Chepstow’s timely accreditation as a ‘Walkers are Welcome’ town. Chair of the Chepstow Committee, Paul Gowen, spoke briefly about the award, followed by Maurice Turner of the Lower Wye Ramblers who was leading the walk. It was Maurice’s idea to hold the event as part of Ramblers Cymru’s Big Wales Coast Walk and he had originally estimated a maximum of 70 participants!
Retiring Mayor of Chepstow, Henry Hodges, thanked local choristers for providing a rousing send off and after cutting a ribbon bearing the Wales Coast Path symbol sent walkers on their way. Local scouts led the procession.
Helen Howlett said: “We have been able to make many improvements in Monmouthshire over the last six years thanks to support from the Countryside Council for Wales and grant aid from the Welsh Government. However, there is so much more we wish to accomplish in the years ahead.”