The North East Autism Society (NEAS) has joined forces with another local charity to offer autistic adults a chance to explore their surroundings and experience the beauty of the great outdoors.

Staff and adults from NEAS joined expert guides from The Walk and Talk Trust for a five-mile hike around New Warlands Farm, at Burnhope, County Durham.

The route around the farm, which is owned by NEAS and used as a vocational training centre, was led by Walk & Talk Trust guides Keiron Young and Richard Ellis, and made use of local moors and woodland.

Keiron said: “It was a really fun walk to plan and do. The NEAS team were a lovely bunch of guys, and we had a lot of fun chatting to them on the way round – talking about the area, and learning about their interests and what they were doing with NEAS.

“A lot of the footpaths around the farm haven’t been used for a while, so it made it a bit of an adventure, but everyone had a good time and we really got to see the best of the area.”

Mark Nicholson, Adam Gluck, Jordan Lee-Cavanaugh, and Steve Malwhinney, along with staff members Lee Goodfellow and Simon Peer, joined Keiron and Richard on the sunny trek through the farm’s expansive grounds and across the beautiful Craghead Valley.

Each adult also received a pair of free walking boots, courtesy of the Walk & Talk Trust.

Lee, a programme support worker for NEAS, said: “It’s been a great day. The lads have all really enjoyed it, it’s been brilliant to get out and to explore the area around New Warlands.”

The rest of the team agreed with him. Jordan said: “I enjoyed it. I could really feel my muscles working, and I liked seeing cows and other animals along the way. They were brill.”

Adam added: “The walk was great fun. I can’t wait to do another.”

The Big Smile, a series of 50 fundraising walks organised by the Walk & Talk Trust, will launch at Raby Castle on June 21. To get involved, or for more information, visit

Find out more about The Walk & Talk Trust