Three of our wonderful Welsh region volunteers, Sally, Jo and Nicky are accompanying mascot Dewi (named after St David, the patron saint of Wales) on a fantastic 12 month challenge to raise money to help our hounds!
They are planning to hike along the whole length of Offa’s Dyke – the border path between England and Wales, the red line on the map below. It is a total of 285km (177 miles), and they plan to do the challenge over a series of weekend hikes throughout 2023, and into early 2024 – starting on April 29th!
You can read more about this amazing challenge, and sponsor them here: https://www.justgiving.com/page/dewi-fht-1679666320969.
We will regularly update this page with their progress – where they will be next, and a summary (including photos) of the last leg they have covered. For some idea of each of the stages, and rough timings, please click on this link (please note, except launch all timings are subject to change. This document will be updated regularly).
Launch day is 29th April 2023 meeting at 10am (hike starting at 10.30am) at Offa’s Dyke Southern Terminus, Sedbury Cliffs, Chepstow (click here for map, What Three Words readings.penned.clipboard). They would welcome supporters to come along to cheer them off – no hiking required! However, if anyone would like to join them for part of the day’s hike, please email Nicky to let her know, and confirm to her that you have read the Hike Checklist.
They are doing all of this to raise money for the hounds in our care, so please do give generously https://www.justgiving.com/page/dewi-fht-1679666320969
Good luck ladies!
First Leg – April 29th and 30th – Distance covered 36km. (report from mascot Dewi)
Me and three other houndies (Zoe, George and Angel), together with our four Forever Hounds Trust volunteer hoomans (Jo, Julie, Sally and Nicky) walked the first 36km of our 285km route!
Day 1 was a lovely hot spring day, but I wasn’t quite so keen on day 2! It was typical wet Welsh weather, so I was in a drysack for a lot of it!! We walked from Bigswear to Lower Hendre, just the other side of Monmouth. We are feeling good about our progress so far.
A big shout out to everyone who came to see us off in Chepstow, everyone who has sponsored us so far, and of course, Jon our support driver!
Second Leg – May 7th and 8th – Distance covered in challenge so far 65.7km. (report from mascot Dewi)
Day 1 : Lower Hendre to Llangattock Lingoed
The weather was lovely, and we had four hooman walkers (Sally, Julie, Mel and Nicky) plus three four-legged walkers in addition to me (Zoe, George and Angel). We went over fields and through woodlands and lanes (a few too many cows for my liking) via White Castle, which is amazing old ruined castle. We ended up at a lovely pub – The Hunters Moon in Llangattock Lingoed.
Day 2 : Llangattock Lingoed to Llanthonyy
The weather had changed for the worst, so I was in the van a lot. Those mad hoomans went up onto Hatterrall Ridge in the rain and mist to raise money for us hounds. As you can see from the photos it wasn’t nice, but everyone made in back in one piece, a bit soggy but happy to have completed a second weekend of hiking. Thank you everyone who has sponsored us so far, including those nice people in The Skirrid Inn where we had a well earned pint at the end!
Third leg – June 3rd, 4th and 5th – Distance covered in challenge so far 133.7km. (report from mascot Dewi)
I am happy to report an excellent weekend of hiking – I did a total of 68km (42 miles) from Hay-on-Wye to Knighton, dragging my hoomans along the way. Thank you all for your support we are now 20% of the way to our target – but please tell family and friends who may also like to support us.
Day 1: Llanthony Priory to Hay-on-Wye
A cold start but we soon got very hot, climbing steeply up from the priory to the top of Hatterrall Ridge. Walked along to top with amazing views, ending up at Hay Bluff. Super day!
Day 2: Hay to Kington (25.5km)
This has to be our favourite day’s walking so far – beautiful far reaching views across the Radnorshire hills after an initial wander along by the Wye out of Hay. Passed through some lovely remote little villages, watching house martins nesting and hearing skylarks singing across the heaths. Had a sit down and picnic in the sweet little village of Newchurch
Day 3 Kington to Knighton (23km)
Some very achy feet at the end of this day as we had clocked up a total of 68km over the whole weekend. Another fine day with wonderful views. My poor four-legged friend Zoe sat this one out as she was a bit tired, but as you can see I made it all the way. Sore toes and heels, so a nice relaxing bath for all when we get home. Thank you all again for sponsoring me and do please spread the word so we can help more poor houndies. Love and wags till the next one (end June).
Fourth leg – June 24th and 25th – Distance covered in challenge so far 183km. (report from mascot Dewi)
Day 1: Knighton to Brompton Bridge
A wonderful June weekend – the first walk was all the way from Knighton up and down the Shropshire hills for 26 long kms to the campsite Millers Rest at Bacheldre Watermill, Brompton Bridge. A few spots of rain and quite windy at the top, but I was kept company in my endeavours by Zoe the Ambassadog for most. We made it to the halfway point!! I recovered with lovely homemade pizza at the Mill (and I might have partaken of a small drop of red, as you can see!).
Day 2: Brompton Crossroads to Buttington Bridge
On the second day, we started early and walked straight onto the trail from the campsite. It was a much less strenuous walk today and a lot across fields and farmland (we had to watch out for a few scary cows!). Towards the end though, we went up to an old Iron Age fort called Beacon Ring where the views across to the Welsh hills were amazing. Total distance covered over the weekend was 48.88 km (30.37 miles).
Fifth Leg – August 11th – 13th – Distance covered in challenge so far 255km. (report from mascot Dewi)
Day 1: Buttington to Llanymynech.
Long drive up to start near Welshpool, walking along the Montgomery canal and then by the Severn. Gentle day although we still managed to cover 20km.
Day 2: Llanymynech to Castle Mill, Chirk
This was a stiffer day with more ups and downs – and some greyer skies but far-reaching views along Llanymynech rocks and the old lime kilns and later high up at Moelydd and Selattyn hills. Lovely sculpture of the dyke walk at Trefonen and finishing near Chirk at the lovely little valley and river Ceirog at Castle Mill. Also met some lovely people like Mima and her family who is also walking to trail for charity Mind, go Mima!
Day 3: Chirk to Llandegla
Started in pouring rain, but luckily this cleared later. Stiff climb up past Chirk Castle to Thomas Telford’s famous Pontcysyllte aqueduct which we all walked across (scary!). On to the Panorama Walk above Llangollen. Pretty tired by World’s End but cooled off at the ford, before climbing up and across heather grouse moor, and down to Llandegla forest, before toasted marshmallows at our campsite.
That’s it! Our amazing team of volunteers have completed the full 177 miles of the Offa’s Dyke trail! 👏👏👏
Here’s the challenge mascot Dewi’s report of the final weekend’s efforts….
Friday 6 October: Llandegla to Moel Arthur
A beautiful day, but a long walk! We reached the Jubilee Tower with 360 views, including down to the Dee estuary, which was amazing, and lovely coffee at the shepherd’s hut at Moel Famu.
Saturday 7 October: Moel Arthur to Bodfai
The weather was a bit miserable, so we did quite a quick walk from Moel Arthur to Bodfai before the heavens opened .
Sunday 8th October: Bodfari to Prestatyn beach
It started hilly and windy but got a bit more level towards the sea, and again some lovely views from the Prestatyn hillside nature reserve. You can see us enjoying a glass of fizz at the end on Prestatyn beach. A million thanks to my hooman dad, Jon “the drive”, who has ferried us all to and from our walks; we couldn’t have done it without him. And again, thank you all for your generous donations.
Dewi hound over and out xxx
Well, we hope you’ve enjoyed following the adventures of our intrepid team of volunteers, the trail isn’t an easy one, but despite that, they’ve pushed on to help hounds in need, just like team member Zoe who was adopted from Forever Hounds Trust.
So far, they have raised an incredible £2,625, but would love this to be more. Any extra donations would come when we need it the most, and could be crucial in saving the life of a hound in need.
You can see their whole journey here.
Thank you team! (what’s next?!) 😜