Walk Scilly Could Become Twice Yearly

walkers on strandWalk Scilly could become a twice-yearly event if tourism businesses on the islands want it.

That was one of the proposals put forward at yesterday’s ‘wash up’ meeting, hosted by the Islands Partnership, to review this year’s event and decide how it will be run next year.

Around 10 people attended, including accommodation providers and walk leaders.

There was unanimous agreement that Walk Scilly should continue in some form in the future, possibly linked to other events like the existing Folk Festival or a new one featuring food.

But the timing seemed to cause some debate. It’s normally scheduled just before Easter, which can vary year-on-year by several weeks. That was originally planned to ‘kick off’ the tourism season.

But the weather can be poor if, like this year, it takes place in March.

It’s hoped the event could start around the 12th April next year and some people expressed an interest in running a second event in October, to extend the shoulder period.

Islands Partnership manager, Amanda Pender, who had to take on the organisation of this year’s event at relatively short notice, says it’s a huge amount of work.

There’s a suggestion that a steering group, representing the various business interests on the islands, should be set up, with the Islands Partnership providing marketing support.

Euan Roger, who organised Walk Scilly for several years, said having a meeting like this, so early, was a good step. He hoped the marketing for next year could start straight away.

And that was supported by Joan Shiles from St Mary’s Hall Hotel, who said she had no problem selling the event to visitors, as long as she knew early on when the dates where.

Walk Leader, Richard Larn felt there needed to be some work done on how the walks were scheduled and the topics. He said his walks, which were on particular specialist themes, had been poorly attended while more general ‘rambles’ on the off-islands were sold out.

Amanda also said the AONB and Wildlife Trust wouldn’t be offering free walks next year.

The Islands Partnership will use feedback from the session to decide how to move forward.

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