The Mayor and Deputy Mayor of St Albans joined the Oxfam Herts Hike in Heartwood Forest on Saturday 29 September. The walk has already raised £2,590 for Oxfam Fairtrade projects with Palestinian olive farmers; this total is expected to increase as sponsorship money continues to come in.
More than 300 people took part in the walk on a beautiful sunny day, which brought some people for their first visit to Heartwood Forest.
Cllr Eileen Harris, Mayor of St Albans City and District, said: “It was wonderful to see so many people showing up to support such a good cause. Heartwood Forest was a beautiful location for the walk and it was a very worthwhile event. We completed the eight-mile walk and enjoyed seeing views of the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside that we had never seen before.”
The money raised will help Palestinian olive farmers to increase their skills and process their olives to the highest standards. Getting Fairtrade organic status for their crop is a great help economically. Support from the Mayor of St Albans is particularly fitting as the city works to renew its Fairtrade City status, first gained in 2006.
The walkers had a choice of distances. The 3 mile route explored the new Heartwood Forest at Sandridge and walkers of the 8 mile route continued to Wheathampstead. The 14 mile route reached Ayot and walkers of the 19 mile route reached Kimpton before turning for home.
Volunteers and sponsors cover all the costs of running the Herts Hike, so every penny that walkers raise will go to the Oxfam olive oil project. The Oxfam Herts Hike has been running for more than 15 years and has benefitted countries including Zambia, Bolivia, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Haiti, Brazil and Vietnam.
240 walkers took part in last year’s Herts Hike which raised funds for Oxfam projects with mothers and children in Thailand.
The Right Worshipful the Mayor of the City and District of St Albans, Councillor Eileen Harris
Contact for the Mayor’s office:
Alison Orde, the Mayor’s Civic Officer
Tel: 01727 819544
Contact for the press:
St Albans City and District Council
Tel: 01727 819316
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Richard Harris, Cllr Eileen Harris (St Albans Mayor), Claire McCreesh (Oxfam shop manager), Cllr Julie Bell (Deputy Mayor), Simon Bell