One organisation putting a team in for the challenge is Gloucestershire-based specialist law firm Loxley, who have chosen to support us as their Charity of the Year this year.
Loxley, based in a Grade II listed mill building in Wotton-under-Edge but active across the country, advise on all aspects of property law, with a particular emphasis on rural land and agricultural businesses. The firm was created in response to the diverse needs of owners and occupiers of land and those working in the rural sector.
Indicator of ancient woodland
No doubt, as they make their way through the Five Valleys around our Head Office in Stroud and follow the beautiful 21-mile route through the fabulous Cotswold scenery, they’ll be keeping their eyes peeled for their logo – the leaf of the service tree (Sorbus torminalis), which appears on their letterheads and website.
Now fairly uncommon in England and Wales, and often mistaken for a field maple, the service tree is a very good indicator of ancient woodland. It carries white flowers in the spring, often high in the canopy, followed by green, almost olive-like berries in the late summer and autumn.
Matt Stephenson, our Corporate Fundraiser, said, “We’re really grateful to Loxley for taking on the walk for us and everything else they’ll be doing throughout the year. If there are any other organisations out there who fancy having a go, or supporting our work in any way, I’d love to hear from you.”
Of course, you don’t have to be an expert on the flora and fauna of the countryside to take part in our Five Valleys Walk – there’s much to enjoy for anyone and everyone. One of the best things is that you don’t have to do the full 21-mile circuit; you can take on as much or as little as you’re comfortable with. (Reality check: parts of the route are steep and to take on the whole walk is a challenge, even for those who walk regularly.)
Free bus to your start point
So, start and finish at any of our eight checkpoints. Then, when you’ve had enough, hop on a free bus, courtesy of Stagecoach, which will deliver you back to your start point.
And, with lots of eating and drinking outlets on the way round, you won’t go hungry or thirsty either.
Last year nearly 2,000 people joined in the Five Valleys Walk, raising over £50,000 towards our lifesaving and life-changing work in the process. Why not join the team from Loxley and sign up for the Five Valleys Walk this year and help us smash that total?
Meningitis Now's Community Fundraising Manager and event organiser Leah Wynn said, “It will be lovely to welcome back our regular walkers from near and far and of course everyone who wants to join them – the more the merrier.”
So, get the date of Sunday 29 September in your diary and sign up for the Five Valleys Walk today. You’ll be very welcome.