Earlier this month, 320 people of all ages gathered at Horsham Rugby Club to begin a 13-mile trek around Horsham. They had joined the 6th Annual Horsham Riverside Walk, which was started by special guest and Superhero, Spider-Man, using a loud air-horn.
Horsham MP, Jeremy Quin, joined the Chairman of Horsham District Council, Cllr Kate Rowbottom, in the excited throng before the start. Mr Quin walked the first six miles before going to his next appointment.
About 200 people finished the walk and collected congratulatory certificates. It wasn’t a race or competition, but was seen as a challenge and an opportunity to be exercising outdoors. The organisers had also asked walkers if they would like to obtain sponsorship in order to support the QEII school for pupils with learning difficulties.
A free minibus was laid on to take any walkers unable to continue through lack of time or energy (it was a warm day) back to their cars.
The well-established route follows several water courses, including a stretch of the River Arun. It allows rarely seen views of Horsham as it passes through pastures, woods, fields of crops and sites of interest.
At Chesworth Farm, the Friends of Chesworth had set up a refreshment point and opened the nearby toilets.
A small band entertained during the lunch break at Warnham Nature Reserve. More refreshments (and toilets) were available at New House Farm, to boost any low energy levels before the pleasant walk through the woods back to the Rugby Club where the bar was open, attracting thirsty walkers.
Event chairman, David Searle, said: “This is the largest number we have seen on the Annual Walk. We were thrilled at the response and the energy of those taking part and thank those who have contributed to The Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee School.
“It was a pleasure to see our plans and hopes materialise. The fine weather played a part in the success of the day, but it was our excellent band of volunteers and helpers who took on many responsibilities to ensure a happy outcome.
“Through the Horsham Town Community Partnership, the circular route has been improved over the last six years with better signage, seats and surfaces to make it accessible every day of the year. Our aim was to establish and advertise the Walk as a local feature, making a lasting difference for heritage, individuals and the community. That target has been achieved.
“Since Saturday, we have received many messages thanking us for arranging the event. We are grateful for that support and very glad that so many enjoyed their day.”