Footprints lead walkers through Bideford

These footprints have been placed in East-the-Water - the sand is a temporary health and safety measure before the foot is set in tarmac. Pic: Graham Hobbs. These footprints have been placed in East-the-Water - the sand is a temporary health and safety measure before the foot is set in tarmac. Pic: Graham Hobbs.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
9:30 AM

The project is funded by the Biosphere and sees brass footprints winding around Bideford, Appledore and Westward Ho!

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These footprints have been placed in East-the-Water - the sand is a temporary health and safety measure before the foot is set in tarmac. Pic: Graham Hobbs.These footprints have been placed in East-the-Water - the sand is a temporary health and safety measure before the foot is set in tarmac. Pic: Graham Hobbs.

A TRAIL of brass footprints have begun to wind their way around Bideford in a bid to get coast path walkers into the town.

The footprints, which are being set in East-the-Water and The Quay this week, feature the slogan ‘Bideford: “Kingsley’s Little White Town”’ – the phrase coined in Victorian times by Westward Ho! author Charles Kingsley.

Martin Caddy, who is heading up the project for the North Devon Biosphere, said the footprints will be laid in Bideford, Appledore and Westward Ho!

“We have to finish them by the end of the month but we’re weather dependent so it’s been a bit difficult these last few days with the weather warnings,” said Mr Caddy.

One of the footprints in Westward Ho! Pic: Graham HobbsOne of the footprints in Westward Ho! Pic: Graham Hobbs

“Thousands of people walk the South West Coast Path every year and many of them want to get through the towns as quickly as possible and back to the wonderful views.

“But we want to show these people that the culture and heritage of the towns is all part of the coast path experience.”

Mr Caddy said similar footprints placed in Ilfracombe earlier this year had been a ‘learning curve’.

“We know we had some problems but we have ironed these out now,” he said.

“We’re also planning a similar project for Combe Martin next year which we will need to secure funding for.

“It will be very unique if technology will allow it – but we can’t give anything away yet.”

The footprints are being set in the ground with sand as a health and safety measure, before they are all set in tarmac in one go.

What do you think of the footprints? Post your comments via www.northdevongazette.co.uk, email us at newsdesk@northdevongazette.co.uk or write to: Opinion, Unit 3, Old Station Road, Barnstaple, EX32 8PB.

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