South Lincolnshire Walking Festival 2019

28 September to 27 October 2019

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Dare you enter the Terrifying Templar Tower for our finale?

HALLOWEEN 2015 posterIgnore the spooks, bats, spiders and Templar ghost stories to explore, discover, create and have fun while Temple Bruer Tower holds you in its spell. Maybe it will decide to keep you!

As part of the fun you can join in with our ‘Templars on the Heath’ 2.5 mile walk with archaeologist Gary Taylor and enjoy a special piece of cake to celebrate the end of the festival. The walk leaves from the tower at 2pm.

Don’t have ‘knight’mares!

Free entry, Temple Bruer Tower, Temple Lane, Welbourn, Sleaford LN5 0DG

31st October 11am-4pm

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One week to go!

The countdown has begun!

Join us for the first of our free guided walks on Friday 25th September followed by our official family launch event on Saturday 26th September. The launch will take place at Willow Tree Fen nature reserve just off Counter Drain Drove between Spalding and Bourne.

Bring the whole family for short walks with Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust’s experts and channel your inner Bear Grylls with den building. There’ll also be pond dipping, owl pellet dissection, badge making and crafts.

If that’s not enough, stick around until 6pm for the Bat and Moth Walk. See you there!

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Will you be taking the Spires and Steeples Challenge?

Guest blog by Donna Sutton, Spires and Steeples Challenge Organiser:

The Spires & Steeples Challenge is a successful charity run/walk organised by 1Life; following the public footpaths and bridleways along the Spires and Steeples Arts & Heritage Trail. The trail that runs from Lincoln Cathedral to St Denys’ Church, Sleaford, brings together the rich history, heritage and local stories of the area. It has many beautiful artworks, churches, interesting landscapes and picturesque skies. The name refers to the Spires of the churches being the landmarks to which visitors make their way and to the rural sport of Steeple chasing. It is also recognition of the important part they have played in the lives of these communities as well as how they are a reflection of the times, families and cultures that created, altered and rebuilt them.

Since the first event back in 2008, participants have challenged themselves to complete the route whilst taking in the beautiful artworks, church architecture and the variety that is the Lincolnshire villages and countryside. There is the option to walk or run the full 26 miles, or walk and run half the route; 13 miles from Metheringham to Sleaford. It has fast become a firm favourite for many, and due to its unique nature attracts participants from all over the country so see what’s on offer in Lincolnshire.

We are very excited to be featuring in the South Lincolnshire Walking Festival this year; it is our 8th challenge and to be able to tie this into such a fantastic pilot festival is great. We have some fantastic countryside and heritage on our doorstep, so to showcase the Spires and Steeples Arts & Heritage Trail along with so many other great walking opportunities was an opportunity not to be missed.

For more information about the Spires and Steeples Challenge, please contact Donna Sutton on 01522 870273 or email

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North Kesteven Social Strollers Step Up to the Mark!

Continuing our guest blogs is 1Life’s Carly Togher who co-ordinates health walks in North Kesteven:

The North Kesteven Social Strollers Health Walk scheme operates nk-social-strollerswithin the North Kesteven District, offering 15 free and accessible health walks to local communities. All walks are led by our team of dedicated volunteer walk leaders; some of which are leading walks in this year’s festival!

We are very excited to be involved in the upcoming South Lincolnshire Walking Festival and are looking forward to sharing some of our fantastic walking routes with you. Regular Whisby volunteer walk leader, Brian Smith will be leading a walk at Whisby Natural World Centre on Friday 25th September. The walk includes circular routes with varying lengths, so all abilities are catered for. Walkers are encouraged to enjoy lunch at the Boardwalk Café at the Natural World Centre after completing the walk.

Nick Grimshaw, who leads multiple walks for the NK Social Strollers, is joining up his regular health walking routes to create an enjoyable 7 + miles walk around Branston and Heighington villages on Saturday 3rd October. There is no charge to this walk; however Nick is encouraging walkers to make a charitable donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Finally on Saturday 17th October, Sleaford health walk leader Shirley Thompson is leading a walk westwards along the River Slea towards its source. The route will then explore the allotments and pass through the cemetery before returning back along the River Slea. The walk will discuss the importance of the Sleaford Navigation and the water mills to the development of Sleaford.

If you would like more information on our regular health walks timetable please contact Carly Togher on: 01522 870272 or alternatively e-mail:

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Our official launch event at Willow Tree Fen

The Official #SLWF Launch!Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust logo

Saturday 26th September 2015 10:00 – 18:00. Willow Tree Fen Nature Reserve, off Counter Drain Drove, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE11 3JH. Between Bourne and Spalding, south of the River Glen, the entrance is over a small bridge opposite Bank House Farm on Counter Drain Drove between Pode Hole and Tongue End.

Although the festival starts the day before on the 25th, we’re delighted to be holding our official launch at Willow Tree Fen Nature Reserve courtesy of Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.

Willow Tree Fen is the largest area of wild fenland in Lincolnshire and over the last five years has undergone a transformation from arable land where beans and cereal were grown to a more traditional landscape of shallow meres, seasonally flooded pastures, hay meadows and reedbeds where wildlife now thrives. In January 2010, over 120 visitors helped Heritage Lincolnshire carry out a geophysical survey, field-walk the site, auger test deposits and dig test pits. Four trenches were dug crossing the site of a Roman drainage ditch. The fieldwalking yielded two new Iron Age/Roman saltmaking sites and a selection of Roman domestic pottery. You’ll also have the chance to find out what’s happening in the local area, so make a day of it!

The launch event is perfect for the whole family and will include several guided walks around the site (including a bat walk at 18:00!), crafts, den building, mini beast hunts, Nature Detectives, pond dipping and dissection of owl pellets

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Countdown to the Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival has begun!

Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival Walkers

There are hills in Lincolnshire!

Are you desperate to get out walking? Well, the good news is that you don’t have to wait until September! Our sister festival, the Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival is just around the corner.


This year there are 107 events taking place during the 16 day festival, including lots of good walking, plenty of family-friendly fun sessions and even some group bike rides for anyone who fancies a bit more speed. To request a copy of the  brochure please send us your postal address details via the festival’s Contact us page.

For corrections and amendments to the brochure, please visit

Win a fantastic Walking Weekend for two!
Everyone who receives one of the walking festival brochures can enter, just send in the coupon on page 53. Click here for further information, terms and conditions.


The festival launches at a Welton le Wold Quarry, near the lovely market town of Louth, on Saturday 16 May (10am – 4pm). This great day out in the Lincolnshire landscape will offer a great programme of walks and activities where you can learn more about this important Special Site of Scientific Interest. This site is geologically important to the story of how Lincolnshire experienced the last Ice Age, with remains of straight-tusked elephant, deer and bison being found here, together with Stone Age flint tools.

Children will enjoy pond-dipping in a Lincolnshire Chalk Stream, digging in an archaeological sand pit, and coming face-to-face with a Stone Age Man! A pre-history expert will be demonstrating Stone Age flint-napping techniques, dressed exactly as our ancestors might have looked thousands of years ago.

Refreshments and toilets will be available but do come dressed for the weather. Please note that only registered Assistance Dogs are allowed on this site, no other dogs are allowed.

Thank you to the landowners, Mr & Mrs Brook for allowing public access for this event.

The Festival closes with the highly-popular Finale event, this year taking place at Flintwood Farm near the pretty village of Belchford on Sunday 31 May. A lively programme of walks will get everyone out and about in this archetypal part of the Lincolnshire Wolds which shows just why we are the East Midlands’ only Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Refreshments will be provided courtesy of the Horncastle & District Lions Club and every participant is invited to celebrate the conclusion of the festival with a piece of free Festival Cake!

Warm thanks to Mr & Mrs Tuxworth at Flintwood Farm.


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Londonthorpe Wood, Grantham – Guest Blog by Christina Joachim of the Woodland Trust

Discover Londonthorpe – Woodland Creation to Mature Wood.

Londonthorpe is just over 20 years old and already looks and feels like fully mature woodland. It’s an attractive wood with a range of habitats including an area of mature old woodland planted to commemorate the Crimean War of the 1850’s. It’s divided into three separate areas by roads but each area has its own look and feel. Once part of the Belton House estate owned by the Brownlow family, the site was planted to compliment the parkland and woodland landscape and provides a stunning view over Grantham and the surrounding areas.

Londonthorpe Wood

Since the first tree was planted in 1993, Londonthorpe Wood has developed into a haven for wildlife and people alike. Now with a ‘proper woodland’ feel to it, the mix of open space, high forest, ponds, areas of scrub and woodland rides makes a visit to the wood an interesting and varied experience, with lots to discover. This variety of habitats also provides homes for an abundance of wildlife, from grass snakes to woodpeckers and lots in between.

The broadleaf mix includes ash, oak, birch, field maple, rowan and sweet chestnut, with a great deal of natural regeneration which is nicely blurring the distinction between planted and open areas. The many old veteran trees and hedgerows add greatly to the interest and enhance the impression that this site has evolved over time. In fact, the nine acres of mature woodland bordering the site contain plants indicative of ancient woodland such as cuckoo pint, dog’s mercury, enchanter’s nightshade and wood anemone, which are now spreading out into the newer planted areas. The resultant mix of diverse habitats, open space and interesting features makes a visit to this woodland a delight at any time of the year.

Christina Joachim Regional Communications and Engagement Officer


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Get your business seen by thousands of walkers!

Do you want to get your business or brand in front of thousands of walkers?

A long line of happy walkers

The South Lincolnshire Walking Festival’s full-colour brochure will be launched at the Lincolnshire Show in June and will be distributed through Tourist Information Centres, libraries, council offices, local attractions etc. It will also be sent to our existing Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival mailing list and be featured heavily online.

Whole page @ £140.00 plus VAT

Half page @ £90.00 plus vat

Quarter page @ £50.00 plus VAT

Find out more from our advertising rates sheet or email

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Over 70 walks!

Many, many thanks to all of those kind, generous and possibly ever-so-slightly crazy people who’ve volunteered to be walk leaders and back markers in our brand new walking festival! We have over 70 walks on offer!



We’re now busy registering all of the walks and checking route maps so keep an eye out for more walks appearing here on the website over the next few days. And don’t forget to sign up to receive our walking festival brochure on the home page!

If you need to get out walking in the meantime, our sister festival the Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival’s brochure has just been printed and is about to be posted out to anyone who wants to be involved. Check out for more details.


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Walk registration deadline extended!

Lots of people have told us they’re still working on their walks but haven’t yet submitted their forms.

Don’t panic!

Fill in the 2015 walk submission form and return it to us before the revised date of 27th February 2015. If you’re having problems just drop an email to

Here are some slwf helpful hints for walk submission form to help you fill it in.