Cotswold Way to twin with South Korea
The Cotswold Way National Trail has teamed up with South Korea’s Jeju Olle Trail to become one of the world’s first ‘friendship trails’.
This new initiative is a result of last year’s World Trails conference on Jeju Island, attended by the Cotswold Way and hosted by the Jeju Olle Trail, a new and breathtakingly beautiful long distance walking route around the coast of the island.
One of the many ideas discussed at the conference and earlier in the year when the Cotswold Way played host to representatives of the Jeju Olle Foundation, was the concept of ‘friendship trails’. These are essentially similar to twin towns, whereby trails in different countries team up in the name of partnership, mutual publicity and international alliance.
The launch of the new Cotswolds Korea Friendship Trail will take place on the 19th April as a mark of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
A short circular walk following the Cotswold Way around Stinchcombe Hill near Dursley will be signed with special markers, introducing people to one of the most scenic parts of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, whilst raising awareness of walking in other countries. Similarly, a section of Jeju Olle will be marked with the familiar oak sign posts seen along the Cotswold Way, inviting visitors to the island to come walking in the one of England’s most stunning landscapes.
The Cotswolds Korea Friendship Trail is one of the first ‘twin trails’ in the world, and it is hoped that the idea will spread across the globe, promoting understanding and walking, whilst boosting tourism and local economy.
James Blockley, National Trail Officer for the Cotswold Way says, “This is a real opportunity to promote international friendship and cooperation. We are proud to be joining up with Jeju Olle, and hope this special relationship will benefit people, landscapes and conservation in both our countries.”
An opening ceremony for the trail will be held at midday on the 19th April near the golf club on Stinchcombe Hill (postcode GL11 6AQ). Representatives from the Jeju Olle Foundation, the Cotswold Way and the Cotswolds Conservation Board will be available for photographs and interview.
Notes to editors:
The Cotswold Way:
• The Cotswold Way National Trail is 102 miles (164 km) long, and runs for most of its length along the Cotswold escarpment.
• The Cotswold Way was formally launched as a National Trail in May 2007, although it had existed as a promoted long distance walk for over 30 years. This designation is a very special one and there are only 14 other Trails in England and Wales with this special grading.
• The Trail's highest point is Cleeve Common at 317m (1,040ft).
• The Trail team is hosted by the Cotswolds Conservation Board, based at Northleach.
• Funding for the management and promotion of the Trail is provided by Natural England.
• The Cotswold Way links all that is special about the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; internationally renowned bluebell woods, rare and important limestone grassland, intriguing history both ancient and modern, globally significant geology, sleepy villages and thriving market towns.
• Highlights along the Trail include: World Heritage City of Bath; views over River Severn to Brecon Beacons in Wales, Malvern Hills and Forest of Dean; National Trust properties of Dyrham House and Horton Court; Broadway Tower and Somerset Monument tower follies; old mill towns of Painswick, Stroud & Dursley; Devils Chimney at Leckhampton Hill; Belas Knap Long Barrow; Sudeley Castle; and Hailes Abbey.
• The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is looked after by the Cotswolds Conservation Board – an independent organisation with 37 members, 15 nominated by local authorities, 8 by parish councils and 14 appointed by Government.
• The Government has designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and National Parks as our finest countryside and they are recognised as being of national importance.
• With its rolling hills and valleys the Cotswolds is the third largest protected landscape in England and Wales after the Lake District and Snowdonia. It covers 2,038 square kilometres (790 square miles), stretching from Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the north, through Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, down to Bath and Wiltshire in the south.
• The Cotswolds AONB is the largest of the family of 46 AONBs in the UK. For further details: www.aonb.org.uk
• Jeju Olle is a series of walking routes on Jeju Island, 130km off the southwest coast of Korea.
• This beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site is almost sub-tropical in climate, its scenery passing from windswept coastline, through countless tangerine groves criss-crossed by distinctive stone walls, and up to the 6,400 foot peak of Hallasan.
• Work on the trail began in 2006 when a dedicated group of volunteers began seeking out a way of promoting access to the coastline of Jeju, discovering old paths and creating new ones.
• ‘Olle’ is a Jeju dialect term meaning a path that links a dwelling to the main road, and is used to represent the trail linking countryside with the outside world. It also means ‘will you come?', inviting people to visit the island and the trail.
• For further details, visit: http://188.8.131.52:8080/eng/
Nicola Greaves: Tel: 01451 862003 / 07743 478204, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
James Blockley: Tel: 01451 862034 / 07738 040456 Email: email@example.com