Feeling adventurous? Then taking a series of walks along The Fair Trade Way might well appeal.

The 6-day walk links Fairtrade Towns between Garstang (the world’s first-ever Fairtrade Town) and Keswick.

This long-distance heritage trail helps link three related local themes – those of Fair Trade, the British Atlantic slave trade and Quakers (Religious Society of Friends).

The Fair Trade Way is a tough walk, averaging 15 miles per day and was created to promote the positive impact using Fairtrade products can have on the lives of people in the developing world who struggle whilst they produce the products and resources that we in the more wealthy, western countries consume in our everyday lives.

Whilst following the route and its official markers, walkers are encouraged to endorse the principles of Fairtrade by enjoying Fairtrade food and beverages. They also have the opportunity to book Fairtrade accommodation.

THE CRITERIA
There are 4 criteria to successfully complete The Fair Trade Way. They are :-

1/ Each day must start and end in a Fairtrade town, city, village or island.
2/ Actual and potential premises for Fairtrade refreshment should be included on the routes.
3/ Places of national scenic, historic, environmental and/or cultural importance should be included.
4/ Where possible, roads are to be avoided and Public Rights of Way should be used.

Now to the heritage trail itself…..

THE START
The starting point is Garstang in Lancashire.
Garstang is a small, market town and is approximately 10 miles north of Preston, with a population of just over 4,000.

In the centre of Garstang is The FIG Tree International Visitor Centre and Fairtrade Café & Gift Shop. It is the site of Garstang’s official declaration as the world’s first Fairtrade Town that took place in November 2001.

The very first Fairtrade Town certificate presented by Harriet Lamb CBE, then Executive Director of the Fairtrade Foundation, is displayed in the centre.

STAGE ONE
The first stage of the trail ends in Lancaster, about 15 miles of walking from Garstang.
The settlement of Lancaster grew up around the Roman Fort built in about 80 AD and the name Lancaster comes from the river Lune (itself coming from the Celtic word meaning pure or clean) and the Saxon word ‘ceaster’ meaning a group of Roman buildings.

After Liverpool, Bristol and London, Lancaster was the fourth biggest slave trade port in England and during the 18th century the city prospered from the Atlantic slave trade.

Going past the Millennium footbridge, the first section of The Fair Trade Way ends at the ‘Captured Africans’ slave trade memorial.

The names of the 25 slave ships and their captains are engraved on the side of the memorial with the number of African slaves carried on each voyage – the total being 5,034 men, women and children.

THE END
The 6th and final stage of the heritage trail is Grasmere to Keswick.

Your journey along The Fair Trade Way comes to an end at the Keswick Moot Hall in the central Market Square, which was built in 1813 and has an unusual one-handed clock. It now contains the Tourist Information Centre.

LEAVE A COMMENT
And there you have it. A whistle-stop tour of The Fair Trade Way and some of the experiences it has to offer.

If you have been on the trail yourself, why not leave a comment below and share your thoughts?

I hope my Blog post has inspired some of you to take up the challenge and help support Fairtrade in a great new way. Or maybe you might look at starting your own route up, linking at least two Fairtrade destinations together?

Thanks for reading – Paul