VOLUNTEERS walkers are need to help look after historic paths once trod by famous poets.

The Dymock area was much loved by visiting or resident poets shortly before the First World War, including Edward Thomas and Robert Frost.

And now local campaigners wants to promote the tourist potential of the historic paths.

Mike Townsend, chairman of the Windcross Paths Group said: “Our area is blessed with many paths, including several of national importance, such as The Daffodil Way, Poets’ Path 1 and Poets’ Path 2.

“We hope soon to be producing a much-needed leaflet on Walks in Dymock Woods.”

He added: “As we seek to promote the tourist potential of our Golden Triangle area and the health benefits of regular walking, the non-profit-making Windcross Paths Group is linking up with the Gloucestershire County Council public rights of way officer in trying to create a pool of volunteers who would be willing both to give feedback on how they find the paths they walk and also to be willing from time to time to help out with the clearance of any litter they encounter and cut back overgrown brambles, such as by stiles.”

The need for volunteer path walkers was brought to light during consultation days, run as part of the Dymock Neighbourhood Development Plan, which revealed just how much local residents enjoyed walking on the local network of rural paths, just as the ‘Dymock Poets’ had before them, more than a century ago.

Mr Townsend said a similar scheme of volunteer path walkers was already in place for Queens Wood, near Kempley, “where volunteers clear and clean the paths of litter every few months”.

The Dymock Poets group, which included the ‘war poet’ Rupert Brooke, who was a regular visitor to the area, are associated with a literary movement known as the Georgian Poets - not because they were living in the Georgian era, but because George V was on the throne.

They were effectively early experimental modernists, but with more than half an eye on the past, and they sought out rural idylls, such as the Dymock area, to celebrate through their words.

To find out more about volunteering as a path walker, visit windcrosspaths.org.uk