Eastbourne Walkfest aims to make South Downs accessible to more people than ever

Stunning landscape at sunset over rolling English countryside
Stunning landscape at sunset over rolling English countryside

The Eastbourne Walkfest hopes to make the South Downs more accessible to people than ever at this year’s Eastbourne and Lewes Walk Festival.

The festival, which will be opened by mayor Steve Wallis at 8.45am on Friday, September 20 at Gildredge School, was set up by Eastbourne Borough Council three years ago – and is this year being supported by the Eastbourne Downland Group.

The EDG, as it is sometimes called, aims to create inclusive year-round events which use the downs to inform, entertain and inspire audiences with world class talks and widely-accessible walking routes.

Those philosophies extend to Walkfest’s week-long schedule. The first event ‘The 9th Green: A Micro-Adventure’ sees bourne 2 Walk micro adventurer Antonia Lucas join National South Downs Park Ranger Tim Squire at The Eastbourne Downs Golf Club from 11am to 12.30pm on Tuesday, September 20.

This aims to engage participants with the sensory experience of being outside in the open country in an inclusive event that welcomes guide dogs, off-road mobility scooters and offers golf carts to those who might otherwise struggle to participate.

During the second event, Taking A Line For A Walk, guests join landscape artist Phil Tyler on an afternoon walk from Eastbourne Golf Course to Butts Brow and Back. The event starts at The Eastbourne Golf Club on Wednesday, September 25 at 11.30am and will give attendees a chance to walk through, talk about and draw their iconic surroundings.

After that, the Eastbourne Open Download on Saturday, September 28 will give participants a chance to discuss the history of Beachy Head with environmental experts Phil Belden and Derek Read from 2pm to 5pm at The Kiosk.

Finally, there’s Bird Ringing Before Breakfast, starting at The Hydro Hotel on Sunday, September 29 from 7.30am to 9.30am.

This is an early morning walk with the RSPB’s Tony Vass and expert ornithologist Bob Edgar, which investigates how human activity affects the migratory patterns of birds.

For more information visit eastbourneandleweswalkfest
.org/walk-calendar/2019-09/ eastbournedown
landgroup@gmail.com