New walkers needed for trek

TWO thousand and nine walkers are needed today to sign up for 2009's Orwell Walk.

TWO thousand and nine walkers are needed today to sign up for 2009's Orwell Walk.

The build up to the walk, organised by the Rotary Club of Ipswich East, was launched by Ipswich Town legend, Fabian Wilnis.

He was at Ipswich Waterfront to help launch the event that has raised hundreds of thousands for charity over the years.

The event, sponsored by The Evening Star, will be held on Sunday, June 28, and those taking part can walk anything from three to 25 miles.

Fabian said he was hoping to take part in the walk himself, if his busy international schedule allowed.

“It is all for charity and it is a very good cause,” he said.

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“It is very healthy just to walk around. I have walked in the Suffolk countryside and it is very lovely.

“We will try our hardest to reach 2,009 walkers.”

Mark Murphy, BBC Suffolk radio presenter and a member of the Rotary Club, said he would be helping to organise the event, which is now in its 33rd year.

A quarter of the money people raise when taking part will go to the Rotary Club's charitable causes, while the remaining 75 per cent goes to the charity of the participant's choice.

Mark said: “Because every charity is finding it difficult financially it is important that as many people as possible take part and raise as much money as they can.

“In the past we have had 1,500 walkers, but for 2009 we really want 2,009 walkers.

“It is a real challenge but I have every faith in the people of Suffolk that they will turn out in big numbers.”

Organisers are keeping their fingers crossed that the weather will be kinder to them than it was last year.

The event had to be cancelled on the day because heavy rain had turned part of the walk into a bog. It was eventually held in September last year.

To apply to take part contact Norman Haines on 01473 215333 or visit www.ipswicheastrotaryclub.co.uk.

Will you take part in the Orwell Walk? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

The first Orwell Walk was held in 1977

In that year, 223 walkers took part in the event

The Walk still follows much the same route along the River Orwell to Felixstowe, although there are occasionally route changes when farming, land usage or tidal variations dictate

Many of the walkers are old hands at the game, some having completed 20 walks or more

Walkers can explore parts of Suffolk coast which are opened specifically for the occasion and are usually off-limits to the public

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