Tom Borg promised to make the public more aware of the footpaths around the town when he took over the voluntary role of Parish Paths and Liaison Officer (PPLO) from Cllr David Mitton in March this year – and he has been as good as his word!
He has put together a website – wellywalking.org – which can be used on a desktop or mobile device to encourage people to get out into the countryside around Wellington and explore one of the 35 adoptive footpaths nearby. And he promises to add more material as time goes by.
He explained the idea behind the website: “I’m aware of the brilliant local and well-supported group ‘Walkwell in Taunton and Wellington’ and often bump into them during footpath surveying, but I also reasoned that people at work can’t join the group very easily and some prefer individual to group walks.
“Another motive is learning about and enjoying video photography, experimenting with walking shots inspired by ‘slow TV’. It seemed natural to put them on the website for general interest. I use a DSLR on an improvised Steadicam and correction software to give a gently smooth result. Apart from safety worries, to my eye, drone shots are unnatural and usually the viewpoint is too high.
“The website is my own creation using commercial hosting and CMS software. I’ve funded it myself as I love messing about with technology and enjoy contributing to our community – so, two birds with one stone.”
Tom added, “I’d like to invite others to contribute their own favourite local walks. I’m not sure if this will work yet but it would also be good to have a walk-rating system for feedback – although I’m aware of the negative aspects of social media.”
Supported by his wife Eunice and Wellington Mayor Gary James who runs Wellington Council’s Footpaths Committee, Tom has initiated a development of his role in protecting footpaths from neglect, one which could benefit many more local residents and visitors to the town.