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A unique FREE networking experience: Kent Downs AONB, White Cliffs Country and the Experience project launched their first business outdoor networking event, NetWalking Kent, on Thursday 22 July at 11am at the Pines Garden Tearoom, St Margaret’s at Cliffe. Thanks so much to everyone who attended.

NetWalking Kent Downs is a FREE outdoor networking event bringing together local businesses interested in welcoming and promoting outdoor activity in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), within 5km of the North Downs Way or within White Cliffs Country (Dover, Deal & Sandwich).

Enjoy a hot drink while you hear about support initiatives available to you from our hosts, the Kent Downs AONB Unit, the EXPERIENCE Project, and White Cliffs Country, the marketing and tourism arm of Dover District Council, before walking about 5 kilometres (3 miles) along the stunning White Cliffs from St Margaret’s Bay beyond South Foreland lighthouse and back, returning to the popular Pines Garden Tearooms for a socially distant light lunch of local produce.

Watch our video to find out more or listen to our very own Rebecca Rees explaining more about the concept on BBC Radio Kent.


Book your place!

It's easy, just visit the Eventbrite page and register to receive the latest updates and reminders. No matter what the weather this event will go ahead and you'll get the chance to walk, talk and connect with other local businesses.

Register on Eventbrite


Frequently Asked Questions

Q What is NetWalking?
NetWalking is networking while walking outside in nature. Forget monthly fees, sitting in stuffy rooms, early starts at school drop off times, dressing up, the pressure of pitching to rooms full of strangers and getting trapped in a corner with someone you have no connection with.

Q What are the benefits?
While Net-walking, you can make new contacts, get business advice, relieve home-working isolation and get fitter, all without the stress traditional networking can cause. You can discover the joy and proven health benefits of connecting with the environment, moving in nature- all while getting free support for your business. It’s a huge win-win for everyone. Sitting is the new smoking, proven to be bad news for our health.

Q Who came up with the idea?
NetWalking was founded in Yorkshire ten years ago by marketing and PR consultant, trainer and keen walker, Faye Smith. NetWalking Sheffield grew to over 400 members and around 40 entrepreneurs would regularly attend the monthly NetWalks. Net-walking won two national awards for best hobby to business support and best networking support group.

While she’s walking, she’s talking is Faye’s motto. This accredited, award-winning start up specialist business coach and growth consultant offers free marketing and PR advice as one of her ways of ‘giving back’ to small and start-up businesses. Businesses which are brilliant at what they do, but often have little experience of selling their products and services to clients or the media- and can’t afford pricey expert advice. Now Faye has moved to Kent, she is thrilled to have accessed the brilliant support offered by NetWalking partners Dover District Council White cliffs Tourism and Kent Downs AONB to launch NetWalking Kent in this stunning area.

Q Who is Netwalking Kent for?
Local businesses who have an interest in welcoming and promoting outdoor activity, largely based in the Kent Downs or North Downs Way corridor and White Cliffs area.

Q What happens at NetWalking?
At our first FREE launch event, attendees will meet at the popular Pines Garden Tea Room to enjoy a hot drink, mingle and hear about support initiatives (outside is the weather is fine, our group exclusively indoors in masks if it is not). We will then walk about 5 kilometres (3 miles) along the stunning White Cliffs from St Margaret’s Bay around South Foreland lighthouse and back, returning to The Pines for a socially distant light lunch of local produce.
Those attending will have a chance to get away from their desks, make connections, hear about the extensive support available and learn from other businesses.

Q What will I learn at the first event?
Kent Downs AONB and the North Downs Way are nationally protected landscapes and trail and are fantastic outdoor tourism assets. Walkers and cyclists are valuable to our businesses, so we need to learn how best to welcome them. It’s a valuable chance to get out, make connections and learn from other businesses.

11am Meet and refreshments, NetWalker introductions.
11.15 Presentations from:
Rebecca Rees- EXPERIENCE business engagement and tourism manager on Kent Downs AONB
Pete Morris- North Downs Way trail manager on introduction to the North Downs Way
Anita Sedgewick- visitor projects and development officer on White Cliffs Country
Faye Smith- marketing consultant- Introduction to NetWalking and today’s route
11.45 NetWalk starts
Approx 12.45 return for a light lunch and more connecting.

Q Where does NetWalking Kent start?
The Pines Garden Tearoom, St Margaret’s at Cliffe, which is accessible by public transport or free on road parking available. Meet at the tearoom at 11am, rain or shine, with suitable clothing, footwear and business cards. The event will adhere to any Covid restrictions in place at the time.

Q How can I book?
Book this free event on Eventbrite

Q How can I link up with other NetWalkers and support agencies?
More information on the Kent Downs Facebook page or White Cliffs Tourism Industry Hub site

Q What are the benefits of walking in nature?
During lockdown, Sport England reported that 63% of us found exercise important for our mental health. Back in 2013, research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that walking in a park or green space for as little as 25 minutes is enough to give your brain a rest and boost cognitive functioning.

Q Does walking really boost creativity?
Research from America’s Stanford University, published in the ‘Journal of Experimental Psychology‘ found when comparing walking with sitting, walking boosted creative output by up to 60 per cent. This, analysts have claimed, is the reason why technology progressors Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg regularly held meetings on foot. They discovered it’s not simply being outside that helps creativity, it’s walking outside. More recent research showed that walking actually encourages the brain to create new connections between cells and helps transmit messages between them much more effectively.