OUR CHARITABLE TRUST
Why do we have a Trust?
Unlike many tour operators, we have our own Trust through which RWH Travels’ profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. We especially want to focus on encouraging both young and old to experience the beauty and rewards that our countryside can bring.
The Ramblers & the Big Pathwatch
The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, the Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. They have achieved so much over very many years of campaigning for walkers’ access rights and we’re proud to have stood alongside them in this work and given many millions of pounds to assist with their valuable achievements.
Our current support to the value of £300,000 is focussed on the Big Pathwatch project, the biggest ever footpath survey.
Extending support through our smaller grants scheme
Whilst continuing to be fully committed to supporting the Ramblers, the Trustees are keenly aware of the Trust’s objectives to help all people to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside. In acknowledgement of this the Trust has recently expanded its grant allocation policy to include a small grants scheme.
We have made a number of small grants over the past 6 months, supporting the footpath network in the UK. These include signage for Heritage Walks in the Vale of Snaith, footpath improvements along the Stour Valley Way near Gillingham, Dorset. Other grants awarded recently are funds to support a website for the Cotswold Way Association and woodland exploration weekends in Scotland.
Click here to download a Small Grant Application Form. Below are just a few examples of projects funded through this scheme:
The Trust contributed £2000 in March 2017 towards the cost of establishing Church Warsop Bridleway as an RoW on the Definitive Map. Joe Colls, trustee, recently met Steve Parkhouse, the Notts Area member who led the project, and walked the bridleway. Steve is an active and productive campaigner who is leading many separate projects to identify and save footpaths in Nottinghamshire. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of local RoW issues, and is on the advisory panel for the RHCT-funded “Don’t Lose Your Way” project.
The bridleway is a disused colliery railway line running east-west for 2.5 km between Wood Lane near Church Warsop and the Robin Hood rail line north of Shirebrook. The bridleway is now Warsop BW56 on the Definitive Map.
Dubs Hut bothy renovation
The iconic Dubs Hut bothy in the Lake District is to be renovated, thanks to a cash grant from Ramblers Walking Holidays Charitable Trust. The bothy lies in the quarry above the Honister Pass, on the route to Haystacks, Alfred Wainwright’s favourite fell. It’s a useful shelter for hillwalkers and outdoor enthusiasts, and has been used as an emergency base for the local Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team. The
Mountain Bothy Association (MBA), whichtook on responsibility for maintaining the bothy in 2014 will use the funds to replace the hut’s crumbling slate roof, fit new weather proofing and install a wood-burning stove and flue.
David Moorat of the MBA said:
‘Thanks to Ramblers Walking Holidays, we now have £2,000 from their charitable trust to put towards the renovation project.”
Helping the next generation
We aim to provide financial support to a number of environmental and educational organisations in the UK with a focus on our young people. These include smaller charities that can provide an outdoor experience for the disadvantaged and disabled; outdoor education centres for inner city children and perhaps in the future, funding a variety of other programmes focussed on the countryside and outdoor activities.
A recent grant was to an inner city school in London to purchase boots and waterproof clothing to allow young people to participate in country walking during the school holidays. These young people would otherwise do little physical exercise and rarely visit the countryside.
We have also supported the YHA Breaks 4 Kids programme over the last 3 years and the fantastic work they’re doing in helping the disadvantaged pupils join their classmates in outdoor activity breaks.
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust is delighted that it has been able to support young people in the South East taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. The Trust has provided bursary funding to enable them to participate in DofE activities to fulfil the requirements of either the Bronze, Silver or Gold levels of the DofE when finances may otherwise have prevented them from doing so. To date over 350 young people have received financial support. Here is some feedback from one young student:
“Our expedition was a great success as we all passed and had an amazing experience at the same time. I would like to thank the Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust for my grant, without which I would not have been able to afford to take part in the expedition and would not have had this valuable experience.”
Campaign for National Parks
For the second year, the Trust is funding a Park Protector Award and grant worth £2000. This year is the 80th anniversary of this national charity dedicated to campaigning to protect and promote all of the National Parks of England and Wales.
CNP this year received 15 nominations from a wide range of projects. The award event took place in October 2015 at the House of Commons and brought together representatives from the award-winning project alongside members of the trust and MPs with an interest in National Park issues. The winner was Fell Futures, who through their apprenticeship scheme train young people with the skills to look after somewhere as special as the Lake District National Park. Click here to join the Park Protector Club.
Ramblers Scotland Medal Routes
Inspired by the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the Trust is now into the third year of funding for Ramblers Scotland Medal Routes project. Medal Routes are three short circular walking routes that start and finish at the same location, designed to take approximately 15, 30 and 60 minutes with the starting/finishing point being a café, sports centre, library, or health centre. This project is about using local knowledge to create local routes for local people on local paths but visitors and tourists will be able to benefit from them too. All Medal Routes are available to download online.
The Walkers are Welcome Scheme
The Trust has begun to work with this walking network, making small grants available to towns when they achieve ‘Walkers are Welcome’ status. For more information please visit walkers are welcome.
The Priest’s Way in Dorset
The Priests Way follows an ancient track used by a medieval priest as he travelled back and forth between the churches in his care at Swanage and Worth Matravers in the Purbecks. The track had fallen into disrepair so the RHCT contributed funds to replace the way-markers. The route now forms a well signposted circular route for walkers visiting the coast and inland paths of this eastern section of the Jurassic Coast. A leaflet with further information is available on the Priest’s Way website.
Launch of the Welcome Way Otley