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Stewart from Godley appointed as first ‘Stage Guardian’ for the GM Ringway

The team behind the GM Ringway – Greater Manchester’s walking trail - has signed up the first ‘Stage Guardian’, Stewart Ramsden from Godley near Hyde.

The GM Ringway project team is currently recruiting one or two people to look after each of the 20 stages of the 200-mile trail. These voluntary roles will help ensure the on-going success of the trail for years to come.

The Stage Guardians will be expected to walk their local trail section regularly to identify any improvements or highlight maintenance issues such as replacing any signage.  They will also report any access problems such as overgrown footpaths or broken stiles as well as temporary obstructions or diversions.

Stewart Ramsden (76) from Godley near Hyde in Tameside has ‘adopted’ Stage 7 from Marple to Broadbottom. The retired NHS procurement manager got his first walking experience aged 12 when he walked up Snowdon in North Wales on a school trip. Then, after a four-week residential in the Lake District in 1965, he was hooked and has been walking ever since. He’s been a member of Ramblers for 30 years and founded the Tameside group more than 10 years ago and has been their chairman ever since. Having retired 15 years ago, he now has more time for walking and regularly gets out on the hills with his wife Prue, who is also a keen walker and Secretary for their local Ramblers group.

Talking about the GM Ringway walking trail, Stewart said: “It’s a great idea. I don’t know why anyone hasn’t thought of it before. Greater Manchester has such a variety of landscapes it makes a really good long-distance walk. No two sections are the same. I plan to walk the whole route eventually.”

Andrew Read, GM Ringway’s project lead said: “Stage Guardians like Stewart will play a vital role as our eyes and ears on the trail and ensure that the route is clear and safe for everyone to enjoy. We anticipate the volunteers will live fairly locally to their stage and know the area well. We also hope the Stage Guardians will build further awareness for their sections of the GM Ringway, perhaps by organising guided walks or promoting the trail and events on social media.”

Anyone interested in applying for a Stage Guardian volunteer role should email info@gmringway.org


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