May 08 2018

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Another Success for Catha’s Seat Awards Fund – Wye Food Businesses donate Food & Drink Towards Picnic

Posted at 10:20 am under Home Page

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Locally sourced picnic raises funds to encourage cycling between Ashford & Canterbury

On Saturday 5th May over 80 people cycled and walked along National Cycle Route 18 from Wye, Ashford, Chilham and Canterbury to this year’s Catha’s Seat Picnic. Volunteers curated a menu for the picnic that showcased producers and purveyors operating along the cycle route. This featured food and drink kindly donated by; Wye Bakery, Wye Butchers, The King’s Head, Wye Coffee & Kitchen, Ripple Farm, Perry Court Farm, The Wooden Spoon, Wye Co-op, Woodpecker Farm and the Cheesemakers of Canterbury.

Proceeds from the picnic spread raised over £400 for the Catha’s Seat Awards Fund. The awards provide a total grant fund of £1,000 annually to encourage safety and increased use of National Cycle Route 18 between Ashford and Canterbury. Local groups, schools and individuals can apply for funding for equipment and expenses to support their projects. Those that are interested in applying for this year’s awards are encouraged to register their name and email address by 14th May at

At the picnic there were inspiring presentations from the 2017 awards winners:

Wheel Potential CIC put their award towards vital spare parts that have supported them to provide bespoke bicycles and open-air cycling experiences for less able adults in the Canterbury district.

2nd Wye Scouts ran their second cycling treasure hunt on National Cycle Route 18 with funds supporting cycling themed prizes, refreshments and hi-viz vests.

Cycle Community CIC’s ReCycle project at Goldwyn School gets students involved in refurbishing bicycles that are then offered for sale at affordable prices and used by the School. Their award funded a pressure washer to help them establish a wash station, which saves time when recycling donated bikes and maintaining their fleet.

These projects are doing fantastic work to increase access to cycling by offering affordable cycles and opportunities to build riding confidence, but the awards winners all highlighted the need for ‘traffic free’ cycle routes as a critical piece of the puzzle. Currently only 40% of National Cycle Route 18 between Ashford and Canterbury is ‘traffic free’, including the Great Stour Way, which has had a transformative effect on increasing cycle and walking commuting, travel to school and leisure between Chartham and Canterbury. On the other hand, the section between Wye and Ashford is not yet dedicated cycle path, meaning users must be prepared to ride on roads amongst ever increasing traffic. Wye now has three schools but parents are rarely comfortable to allow their children to cycle between Ashford and Wye unaccompanied. An open meeting is being held at Wye Small Village Hall on 11th June 7.30pm to gauge the level of interest in pushing forward proposals for a ‘traffic free’ cycle path between Wye and Ashford.

Picnickers were also entertained by the Ashford Folk Community and poems especially written for the event by local cycling poet Robert Graham.

Mark your diaries for next year’s picnic on Saturday 4th May 2019.

Contact – Nick Keegan, +44 (0) 7708 523 994


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