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Join our Ambassadors Team

Cutting across the South East of England, the North Downs Way National Trail offers walkers 153 miles (246 km) of spectacular scenery, picturesque villages and glorious countryside all easily accessible from London.

The Trail passes through two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Surrey Hills and the Kent Downs and visitors can discover a range of wonderful history, art, nature, local produce and much more on a walk, run and cycle or why not stay awhile in one of the nearby towns, cities or campsites.

With so much to share and even more coming soon as part of the EXPERIENCE project we're delighted to re-launch our North Downs Way Ambassadors Programme. It includes free training both online and in person for those looking to turn their walking hobby into professional high quality engaging tours along the fantastic North Downs Way National Trail.

We'd like to welcome people from different backgrounds and abilities across all areas along the North Downs Way in Kent and Surrey. So if you have a passion for walking and/or your local area near the trail that you would like to share with visitors and locals please read on or apply today!...

What is a North Downs Way Ambassador?

Our ambassadors are absolutely amazing, they love promoting the trail, enjoy spending as much time as possible outdoors and often have a range of top tips, interesting facts and local knowledge up their sleeves.

There is no one correct way to lead a guided walk. Different leaders have different styles which will suit different walkers. Some may focus on the wildlife, the plants or even some quite specialised element of natural history whereas others may concentrate on the nearby pubs and vineyards along the way! Essentially, the wider the range of walks that are delivered by North Downs Way Ambassadors the better as it provides more and varied ways for people to enjoy the trail.

There are many reasons why people decide to become North Downs Way Ambassadors, here are just a few...

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Local Volunteers

Some of our ambassadors provide periodic tours just for the love of it.

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Existing Businesses

Some want to learn more about the local area and offer value added tours for their guests.

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Revenue Generation

Some create guided tour businesses using their knowledge and charge for their services.

What does the training include?

We've teamed up with experts and partners from across the region to give you a real taste of not only the wonderful views and routes available but also what you could offer in addition including local history, culture, geology, food, drink and arts all packaged into easy to digest formats and ending (hopefully) with you receiving official recognition as a North Downs Way Ambassador.

Richard Betts from Pied-a-Terre is our training leader and runs his own walking tour company that provides exclusive, tailored walking and adventurous experiences throughout the UK and Internationally so he definately knows his stuff!

Welcome

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This online session will include an overview of the programme aims, expectations and what key elements make a North Downs Way Ambassador really engaging. Plus some practical tips from someone already on the programme.

Online Lectures

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Learn more about the North Downs Way and what makes it special all at your own speed and available to view when you are. Covering topics as diverse as heritage, culture, wildlife, nature, sustainability and risk management.

Practical Sessions

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Time to get outside and enjoy a walk along the North Downs Way. Split into several locations you'll join the group local to you and have the chance to meet existing ambassadors and try some of the walk for yourself.

Ambassadors Toolkit

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An information pack for you to take away to help you remember the key facts from the programme, tips on how to run tours and additional support available as well as links to access information if you need a refresher.

Assessment

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At the end of your training you'll get the chance to show us what you can do with a home paper, assessment on your ability to plan a walk and provide a thorough risk assessment as well as leading an actual walk along the trail.

Join our Webinar

We'll be running a handy webinar session on the 3rd August to explain more about what a North Downs Way Ambassador is, what the programme involves and to answer any questions you might have.

Simply sign-up via our EventBrite page and we'll send you a reminder before it starts.

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Get Involved

If this sounds like something you would enjoy then please register your interest via the form below to join our mailing list, attend our introduction webinar on the 3rd August or apply straight away by downloading our application form. Training dates are in September and October with 'graduation' in November.

More Opportunites for Business Development...

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Thank you to all who attended our NetWalking Event

NetWalking Kent Downs is a FREE outdoor networking event bringing together local businesses interested in welcoming and promoting outdoor activity in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), within 5km of the North Downs Way or within White Cliffs Country (Dover, Deal & Sandwich).

Enjoy a hot drink while you hear about support initiatives available to you us at the Kent Downs AONB Unit, the EXPERIENCE Project, and White Cliffs Country, the marketing and tourism arm of Dover District Council, before walking about 5 kilometres (3 miles) along the stunning White Cliffs from St Margaret’s Bay beyond South Foreland lighthouse and back, returning to the popular Pines Garden Tearooms for a socially distant light lunch of local produce.

Find out more about the EXPERIENCE Project

The programme is funded by the EXPERIENCE project which is promoting sustainable tourism along the North Downs Way. We are also looking for businesses, organisations or individuals that are particularly interested in nature, landscape and outdoor activities such as walking, cycling or equine. You may be an established business wishing to connect with the countryside and outdoors more. Or you may have little or no experience in the tourist trade, but you may have other skills such as photography, crafts, local history, wildlife, nature expertise, local knowledge, or be interested in using the land you farm and experience you have for more diverse activities.

We will support you to develop new experiences, which use your expertise and passion. If you want to know more you can watch our introductory webinar on this page or on You Tube through this link.

How is EXPERIENCE funded?

EXPERIENCE is a €23m project co-funded by the Interreg France (Channel) England Programme, which has committed €16m from the European Regional Development. Projects are funded in six areas across England and France: Norfolk, Kent, Cornwall, Pas-de-Calais, Compiègne and Brittany. Close collaboration across the six regional projects ensures insights and best practice are shared.

EXPERIENCE in Kent is match funded by:

Ashford Borough Council
Canterbury City Council
Dover District Council
Folkestone & Hythe District Council
Gravesham Borough Council
Kent County Council
Medway Council
Thanet District Council
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
Swale Borough Council

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