The Big Walk in Oxfordshire

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Community Action Groups in the spotlight as The Big Walk came to Oxfordshire

Last week Oxfordshire was visited by two walkers, Steve and Katherine, who are travelling hundreds of miles across England to shine a light on fantastic communities and projects that make great things happen as part of The Big Walk.

The pair visited Bicester Green and Langford Community Orchard in Bicester on Wednesday last week, before walking into Oxford on Thursday. In Oxford they visited 6 different Community Action Groups!

Oxfordshire is a recognised hub of community environmental action, and the walkers visited projects producing clean energy in the heart of Oxford (Osney Hydro), teaching bike mechanics and safe cycling (Broken Spoke), sharing food growing skills (Oxgrow), and building community with a local shop and cafe (Talking Shop Sandford). CAG Project Officer Marta expertly led a walking tour around West Oxford taking in many of the projects and tying them to fascinating local histories. 

The walkers were really impressed by the way that all these community projects work together, supporting even more people to get involved with making Oxfordshire more sustainable and a better place to live. The Big Walk also dropped into Makespace Oxford, where The CAG Project team are based, and were excited by how it’s developing into an energetic space with tenants tackling a wide range of social and environmental issues. 

The Big Walkers headed into central Oxford from Makespace.

The walk also headed to  Tap Social, a craft brewery that offers prisoners the chance of rehabilitation and employment by providing training courses in brewing and business start-up, and the Oxford Food Bank. 

An idea from the Eden Project, The Big Walk is designed to celebrate the people at the heart of the UK’s communities, who work together to make a positive difference locally. The projects were carefully selected from hundreds of great community projects because they are a shining example of what can be achieved when people come together in this way.  You can see a video wrap up of what happened on day 16 of The Big Walk (including Oxford) on Twitter

Katherine is the only walker to be going the whole distance and has walked nearly 200 miles and visited over 20 community projects before arriving in Oxfordshire. She said: “It means the world to me to see such welcoming faces when we arrive at local projects. I’m delighted to be in Oxfordshire and meeting people who are giving their time and resources to making a positive change to their local community. I hope our spotlight on these projects will inspire more people to become involved in taking part in activities that makes a difference to those around them.” IMG_20180531_161429923