A 40 mile long distance footpath, and 21 shorter circular walks A Coventry Way Home
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Working Parties

Working parties have been arranged with all the local authorities responsible for maintaining the 40-mile A Coventry Way route and the 21 Circular Walks.

The work involves maintenance and installation of kissing gates, footbridges and way-mark posts.

Building a Kissing Gate : 9-Apr-2006

During the growth period of summer we clear the footpaths that get overgrown.  We have a small tool kit and two strimmers supplied by Warwickshire County Council, who have also arranged our insurance with BTCV.

This activity is very important during the few weeks leading up to the Challenge date. Volunteers agree that it is very satisfying putting something back into a leisure activity that they have enjoyed for many years.

Ladies have also contributed to the activity and are very welcome. We try and enjoy ourselves whilst carrying out this work, bearing in mind that there is time to look more carefully at the countryside and meet some of our rural friends.

Working parties are arranged monthly from January to November, with occasional extra days to deal with a particular need.  See news items for details, either "Latest Working Party News" on ACW Home or start with WP News 001 Mar-2006 and follow "Next WP News" buttons to read all recent WP history.

For a complete listing of all Working Parties since March 2006, download
ACWA-WP-Achievements.xls .


Volunteer "Overseers" are allocated to each walk, and regularly check their routes for difficulties or the the need for improvements.  They carry a few hand tools, and will fix any minor issues as they find them.  Bigger issues are reported (see Footpath Updates for more information) and appropriate action planned.

ACWA Officers

We are always on the lookout for volunteers to take on the posts listed on the Contact Us page.

If you are interested in joining in these activities, please contact
Bob Carey on 024 7645 5251 or the person named in the latest WP News for further information.

Is it really 40 miles?

Cyril Bean's story on this perennial question 

I had my piece of elastic way back in 1995 and 35 miles was printed on the cover of the draft booklet.  Bob Watson after walking it settled down to a serious measure and came up with 39.70 miles.  I had to check it before publication and arrived at a similar figure of 39.78. Having spread the odd bits over the 18 maps to make it up to 40 we forgot about it.

Measuring ACW

Some questions were asked when Ralph Chaplin ran round in 6 hours as it was a significant chunk off the previous best times. More serious questions were asked when Colin Kirkham put up the magnificent time of 5:22, and I think Colin himself thought it was around 38.5 miles.

Bernard Roebuck set himself the task of measuring on the map and came up with an answer, I am not sure of his exact figure but I got the impression that it was less than the previous estimations.

The task was clear and Bill Day arranged to hire a measuring wheel and in three days it was pushed round by the three of us - mainly Bernard. He, by example, kept Bill and I up to a good standard, cleaning the wheel, wheeling up to and re-starting from the centre line of stiles etc.

Answer 40.09 miles.  Well done Bob Watson and also Miranda Aston who was the only one to have a stab at the question posed in the newsletter.  Both were given a signed copy of the 21 Circular Walks book  when it was published.

Updates in recent years

2004 - The new route through the new estate west of Bedworth reduces the length a little.  Maybe by 0.09 miles?

2005 - Ed Milbourn took his GPS receiver round during the challenge.  He reports:
       "Total measured distance was 40.6 miles (ish)"
... we must ask our GPS experts Cyril Bean and Keith Greenall for a second opinion!  What precautions are needed with GPS methods to get as accurate a reading as Bill and Bernard got with their measuring wheel?  Ed used his while running 40ish miles in 8hrs 51mins, presumably jumping over the stiles at speed - what accuracy would we expect?  Maybe someone will volunteer to measure the route by GPS methods, using the most accurate procedures currently available?

2007 - A few minor route changes which in total may have reduced the distance by about 0.1 miles?

2008 - John Aylmer took his GPS on the challenge.  Results:

Name Type Distance Ascent Max Height Min Height
Coventry Way Route 40.06 miles 1,909 ft 566 ft 194 ft

2009 - Peter Page "measured" the length by plotting the route on the Bing map : see the ACW Large Scale Maps page for details.  The result was 40.01 miles ignoring the extra going up and down hills.



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