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Totnes’s Inaugural Slow Walk

Slideshow Image
Slideshow Image

In 2005 my partner gave me Carl Honore’s book In Praise of Slow: How a Worldwide Movement is Challenging the Cult of Speed (his Ted talk is here) To this day, I confess, I’ve never found time to actually finish it, but, I love the insights I gained and recognise the value of the global Slow Movement Carl identifies.

The Slow Food Movement chimes with my passion for local, sustainable food. Cittaslow with my passion for low impact development and self-built eco-communities. More recently my work with the Network of Wellbeing highlights that the Slow Movement can help us build wellbeing together by allowing time to embrace the 5 Ways to Wellbeing: “Connect…, Be Active…Keep Learning…Take Notice…Give…” strengthening community and reducing loneliness.

Inspired by the Slow Movement, and the Spanish el paseo tradition, this Saturday, 30th September 2017,Totnes will host the world’s first ever sponsored 10 hour Slow Walk up Totnes High Street! Starting at 10am outside the Seven Stars and ending at 8pm at the Bay Horse Inn, Totnes the Slow Walk will celebrate diversity and community spirit whilst raising funds and awareness about the campaign to keep the UK Frack Free.

I live and work on Totnes’ beautiful, historic High Street and it can take an hour to cover a few yards by the time you’ve bumped into someone, listened to a busker or admired an independent shop’s unique window display! The inaugural Slow Walk is a celebration of Slowness a day when we can all give ourselves permission to slow down and give each conversation, each chance encounter all the time it deserves!

“It’s about seeking to do everything at the right speed. Savoring the hours and minutes rather than just counting them” as Carl has noted 

Slow Walking is also a tactic used by frack free protectors to slow vehicles’ approach to sites and has been deemed legal in court 

As well as being a fun, community building event, the Slow Walk also has a wider purpose for a good cause as Dr. Joelle Buxmann, who designed the Slow Walk poster explains: “People are uniting globally to help us stay safe by staying Frack Free! Fracking is unnecessary, untested and unsafe! We already generate more than ½ of our power from renewables for a fraction of fracking’s costs, creating six times more jobs without the risks to our water, air and communities!”

Other artists have also helped with the Slow Walk. Mark El-Kadhi has led a team designing new T-shirts which will be released to commemorate the Slow Walk and raise funds and awareness for the Frack Free Frontline. Mark said: “The T-shirts show that England’s neighbours, including Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany have all banned fracking – now it’s time the we ban it to protect our water, our countryside and our future!”

For those who can’t make the walk but would like to show their support there is a just giving page and Slow Walk facebook page.

My hope is that this Slow Walk will reverberate out to the rest of my life, the connections made will further enrich our wonderful communities and that other people, in other places may start their own Slow Walk!

We also hope to help keep the UK Frack Free!

Larch Maxey

The Slow Food blog is welcoming contributions on the topics of Food, Farming and Agriculture. The contents may not entirely match the views of Slow Food, but reflect the journeys of the authors. To write for us please click here



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