Hundreds enjoy stroll for charity

MORE than 1,500 people put on their walking boots yesterday to take part in one of the county’s biggest charity challenges.

The Orwell Walk was blessed with wonderful weather as people of all ages walked up to 25 miles along the banks of the river to raise money for a wide range of good causes.

Organised by the Rotary Club of Ipswich East and sponsored by EADT’s sister paper the Evening Star and East of England Co-op, it was run from the grounds of Amberfield School at Nacton.

It was a real family day with a new addition this year as youngsters took part in a toddle waddle for the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) Treehouse Appeal, which is backed by the EADT, showing that any age can enjoy walking.

With forecasters accurately predicting plenty of sunshine, and the prospect of England v Germany on the TV in the afternoon, most long-distance walkers registered as soon as the doors opened and had set off by 8am.

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The only small difficulty during the day came as the rising spring tide on the Orwell cut off part of the route between Bridge Wood and Shore Lane, meaning they had to jump in a minibus to bridge the gap in the walk. Walk organiser John Button said: “It’s probably been our busiest year ever – a superb day.

“We have had in excess of 1,500 people taking part, which is more than we have had for many years, and the weather has been perfect, lovely and sunny with a nice breeze by the river.

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“I think people are realising now the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and getting out and walking more, and that it was also a great way to support their favourite charities.”

People were sponsored to take part in the walk with 25% going to the charities supported by the rotary club and the rest to the charities of their choice.

There were three different routes of 12, 18 and 25 miles, although people could do as little or much as they wanted, and it was a chance to explore parts of the coast usually off limits with some private land being opened up for the walk.

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