Walking on the Waters

Garstang Walking Festival 2012
Garstang Walking Festival 2012

The pretty market town of Garstang celebrates the 10th anniversary of its Walking Festival this weekend – by walking on the waters.

The theme of 2013 Festival, which marks a decade since the event was founded, is in praise of the River Wyre – on the banks of which the town stands – and its 
tributaries, the Brock, Calder and Grizedale.

The event, organised by Wyre Council with the help of Friends of Garstang Walking Festival, kicks off on today and runs until Sunday, May 19. One highlight will be the four day Wyre Way Walk, which has proved very 
popular over the years with festival goers.

The 41-mile walk follows the River Wyre as closely as possible, from the sea at Fleetwood and Knott End towards its source above Abbeystead village in the beautiful Forest of Bowland.

And, this year, parts of the route which are usually off limits will be opened up specially for the festival walkers who will also be joined by locals whose daily lives are spent on the land, including the Knott End coastguard, an Out Rawcliffe farmer, a keen angler and a grouse biologist.

Countryside ranger and festival coordinator Duncan Byrne said: “It just adds an extra element of interest.

“People walk the route and see the landscape but these people have a real connection with the land.”

Other events in the 10 day festival include a Mountain Rescue Awareness Day with Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team and an open day at the Bleasdale Tower Gardens, on the western edge of the Forest of Bowland.

For more information, see the Walking Festival’s page on the Wyre Council website at www.wyre.gov.uk where you can download a full programme of events.