Ashley Williams completed his delayed ‘Richard Walden Newport to Nailsworth Challenge’ when he arrived at The Fully Charged New Lawn in time for the recent game against Newport. 

Some may remember that Ashley’s original plan was to travel from Nailsworth before Christmas to arrive in Newport in time for Rovers Boxing Day game at Rodney Parade.  He was forced to postpone his plans until February when matches were cancelled for covid reasons.

Ashley’s walk was to raise funds for Shelter.  His account of his journey is below and, if you feel inspired by Ashley’s efforts, please think of a donation through his just-giving page (below).

Ashley starting his walk at Newport’s Rodney Parade.

First of all, could I just say a big thank you to The Forest Green Rovers Supporters Club and those who kindly sponsored me on my challenge. I’d also like to thank the couple who tooted their car horn and waved as I arrived in Nailsworth , which was a nice way to end the walk.

I’m pleased to report that the challenge has raised over £2,000 so far  for the Shelter Charity and I’d like to hope a little more is to come. It was also nice to be able to something in the memory of Richard Walden, a former Newport County player, whom I’d known growing up.
In the end I walked a total of 52 miles, over two and  a half days. On my first night I slept out in a bus shelter just south of Chepstow, which  fortunately was watertight as there was torrential rain overnight. The second night was a bitterly cold one and  I slept in a gazebo structure next to a skateboard/bmx track in Wotton Under Edge. In total, I reckon I slept for no more than 5 hours  over the two nights.

One of Ashley’s overnight stopping places.

Ashley collected about 3,000 litres of rubbish during his walk.  McDonalds was the biggest culprit!

Along the walk and  in line with the club’s green credentials  I picked up litter and  collected approx 3,000 litres of rubbish en route. This was the tip of the iceberg  and the amount of discarded rubbish in the grass verges was quite staggering. McDonalds litter was by far the most common culprit, followed by coffee cups, plastic bottles, drinks cans and discarded face masks.
Surprisingly I met very few people along the walk, but ironically the first and last people I spoke to on the walk were both Forest Green supporters. The first was a Welsh rambler just outside of  Newport  who asked me for directions, and the second was on my way home after the Newport game at Swindon train station, who was also traveling back to Hampshire like myself.
I had great chats with both these fellow supporters and for me it reiterated to just how appealing and well known FGR are as a club, not just because of the football side, but because of the club’s ethos and ethics.
Anyway thanks once again and now the challenge is complete if anyone would like to make any final donations they would be much appreciated
All the best, Ashley