South Down walks to help make a difference in Niger

(Left to right) Sue James, Owen Plunkett and Elizabeth Longland from the Portsmouth Oxfam Group
(Left to right) Sue James, Owen Plunkett and Elizabeth Longland from the Portsmouth Oxfam Group
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A pair of walks are being organised to support some of the planet’s most impoverished people.

The Portsmouth Oxfam Group has organised two South Downs Safari walks, as part of a fundraiser to provide clean water to the people of Niger.

The first of these two walks is on Sunday, September 24, starting at 10am from Stansted Park, Rowlands Castle. The second walk on Sunday, October 8 will set off from the National Trust car park at Harting Down at 10am.

One of the organisers for the walks, Owen Plunkett, says that the walks have been going for the past 33 years.

He said: ‘In the past few years we have made the walks much more leisurely, and have added the Rowlands Castle route to reflect that.

‘The Rowlands Castle walk is much more accessible for walkers, regardless of age or ability – it is six miles long and is a very pleasant journey.

‘Our route at Harting Down is a bit more challenging, but we have a group of people who thoroughly enjoy that aspect of the walk.

‘It is certainly worth the extra effort as it takes in one of the most beautiful parts of the South Downs National Park.’

Over the years that the walks have been taking place, Owen and his team have managed to raise more than £65,000 for Oxfam.

He said: ‘We tend to support projects that look to get clean water into impoverished communities.

‘Water is such an integral part of our lives that we take for granted just how much it does for us.’

Walkers can either make a donation or raise sponsorship for the walk. Sponsor forms and other details are available from the Portsmouth Oxfam Group website, southdownssafari.webs.com.