PUT YOUR hiking boots on because there’s still time to register for the Wokingham Walk.
Now in its sixth year, the annual event sees residents walk five-, 10- and 15-mile routes across the borough.
The hike, organised by Wokingham Lions Club, raises money for charity each year — and registration is open now.
“We’re very much looking forward to it, and it’s looking like our biggest walk ever,” said Andy Slay, one of the event’s organisers.
“We’re putting this down to the various lockdowns, everybody’s newfound fondness for walking, and people’s yearning desire to get out and support local charities.”
Starting in Elms Field, the 15-mile route takes walkers down to the outskirts of Yateley, across to Eversley and Finchampstead, and back up to Wokingham.
Those walking 10 miles will walk down towards Crowthorne and Little Sandhurst before looping back to town, and anybody trekking five miles will head to Nine Mile Ride and walk back up to Elms Field.
So far, 250 people have registered for the walk.
Mr Slay said the organisers will be enforcing covid-safety rules on the day to keep people safe.
This includes hands-free registration, offering bottled water at refreshment stops, and encouraging residents to stick to groups of six people or fewer.
Starting times will also be staggered to maintain social distancing.
There will also be a free Nature Trail to keep younger walkers occupied, asking them to spot wildlife along the way.
“The Trail is for younger children and it asks them to spot a number of things, including wood ants, squirrels and magpies,” Mr Slay explained.
“Litter is also on the list, and we hope it will create a discussion point with parents about how bad it is for people to leave litter in the countryside.”
Last year, the Wokingham Walk raised more £2,700 for Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice, but the Lions Club has not nominated a particular charity this year.
Instead, funds raised from the event will be shared between a whole host of charities which are yet to be decided.
“The money we raise will be distributed to local charities and individuals in the area as the need arises,” Mr Slay said.
“This includes residents suffering hardships and charities in the local area whose normal fundraising routes were closed by lockdown.”
“We also have an oven-ready fundraising opportunity for charity supporters to raise sponsorship for their own charity and in doing so, they will also be raising money for charities through their participation.”
Mr Slay said some walkers have already pledged to support certain organisations, including Parkinson’s UK, CLASP, and Breast Cancer Now.
The Wokingham Walk will take place on Sunday, May 23 with a rolling start time from 8.30am onwards. The finish will be manned until 5pm.
Entry costs £15 for walkers over 18, £5 for those aged between 12 and 17, and is free for children aged 11 and under.
To find out more, visit: www.wokinghamwalk.co.uk
For more information about Wokingham Lions, visit: www.wokinghamlions.org.uk