STORMY conditions and warnings to stay away from coastal areas have affected the Lyme Regis Walking Festival and future events may be rescheduled, according to organisers.

The week-long event, which includes a variety of different walks and tours, is to finish this Sunday, February 16, and has seen a disappointing turnout of people taking part in the organised walks.

First created to try and attract more tourists into Lyme Regis during the shoulder season, this is the third time the walking festival has been held in the town and each one has been badly affected by adverse weather.

Tony Colston, who organised the event, said: “There have been a lot of people down here of a weekend, but that is mainly because they want to see the waves and the colours of the sky.

“The festival, and the walks we put on, haven’t attracted as many people down here as we hoped and we think that is because a lot of people are making the decision to stay away from the coast, especially in the south west, because of the warnings the government has put out.”

Organisers will now look to see if rescheduling the festival would have a positive improvement on the number of people taking part.

Mr Colston said: “Rescheduling it is certainly something to consider for the next time, because the weather has badly affected it.

“The next one is already pencilled in to happen in November and I think we will keep it there, but we will look at it for the ones we schedule after November, and maybe put them in sometime in March or April, when the weather is better.”

Mr Colston added: “We hoped it would have attracted more down here, even if it was just day visitors coming to do one walk, but it hasn’t.

“A lot of people have gone to a lot of trouble to organise these walks and there is quite a selection of walks to choose from, it is just whether people will ignore the weather and come down and take part.”