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Fressingfield, near Diss, holds annual charity dog walk on New Year's Day





Fifty residents gathered to take part in the 25th edition of an annual charity dog walk.

Residents of the Fressingfield area met at the Fressingfield Swan at 10.30am on New Year’s Day to walk, and add to the £67,000 already raised by the annual event.

The event was a great success once again, raising approximately £500 for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.

The walkers set off from the Fressingfield Swan on New Year's Day.
The walkers set off from the Fressingfield Swan on New Year's Day.

“Back in the late 1980s or early 1990s, we used to take part in a similar charity event with our dogs along the Southend-on-Sea esplanades on New Year’s Day morning,” said founder Steve Wyatt, from Fressingfield.

“For our first new year after moving to Fressingfield in 1993, we invited a bunch of friends to stay and someone remarked that if we had still been in Essex, we would have enjoyed the Southend dog walk. We offered to organise one if they would come, and that’s how it started.

“Our new friends in the village joined in, as did the Fressingfield Swan and we raised about £250 for Macmillan Cancer Relief.

“By the time we stood down as organisers in 2016, the event had become a new year’s tradition. We expected anything up to a hundred or more walkers, and dogs, a selection of horses – sometimes with carts, ponies and traps, a variety of donkeys and, of course, Clarence the village llama, who sadly died at a great age this year.

“Over the following years we managed to raise over £60,000 for Macmillan, Help for Heroes, and Each. Friends took over the organisation before Covid intervened, by which time the total had risen to well over £67,000.

“The Brown family, our hosts at the Fressingfield Swan, now run the event, with our assistance.

“We had nearly 50 walkers and their dogs for the five-mile walk and, on their return, the walkers enjoyed free home-cooked hot soup with ingredients provided by the village Mace Store, bread donated by Harleston’s Tudor Bakery, plus doggy cupcakes from CakeDubz and other appropriate treats for the four-legged brigade.”



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