Explore South Devon is our series of downloadable guided walks to help people get the most out of the fantastic network of public rights of way in the AONB. The walks pages are the most visited pages on our website, but we were aware that they all could do with a revamp!
Thanks to funding from South Devon Local Action Group (with funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas LEADER programme) and the South West Coast Path, we have been able to make a good start – and with over 50 walks to begin with, this turned out to be quite a task!
In 2019 we recruited a small band of amazing volunteers who went out and checked every single walk for us, returning with amendments and suggestions for changes. We have been able to use these to completely update our new website walks pages and provide newly designed printer friendly PDFS.
We wanted to make the walks easier for people to access according to what they wanted, so we designed 3 layers of information:
Basic digital version – route and directions for the walk, available from the website, utilising Google maps to use on your smartphone or device. A slideshow gallery of photos help show some of the sights you can expect to see on your walk.
Printer friendly version – simple map of the route and directions, along with information about landscape, heritage and history, which can be printed out to take with you on the walk – for those who like the security of a piece of paper in their hand!
Enhanced version – route and directions for the walk, available from the website utilising Google maps to use on your smartphone or device plus audio descriptions of points of interest, local stories and general information on landscape, heritage and history. In some cases, there are also videos. These can be accessed whilst you are out in site, if there is a signal, or from home when you are planning your walks.
We always suggest taking an OS map with you to help clarify the route. The South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is covered by the orange Explorer map OL20.
19 walks were completed in the first tranche and were live on our website by October 2019. We are currently working on the next 22 and hope to have them online ready for Summer 2020. The last few will be completed shortly after this.
To complement the new walks pages, we are using some of the funding to make a set of short films using drones, to show the spectacular landscape of the AONB which can be reached using these brilliant walks.
We have also produced a set of outdoor information panels which have been installed at busy locations around the AONB, helping people see where they can walk. It is hoped that these signs will encourage local residents and visitors to explore further afield, spending more time enjoying the unique natural landscape, profiting from the many benefits of spending more time outdoors being active.