In 1985 the late John Sanders, a vice-president of the Lichfield Civic Society, had the idea of creating a 10 mile walk encircling the city to commemorate Erasmus Darwin's association with Lichfield. The Darwin Walk Trust was formed on the 18 July 1986 and the leading and development of the four organised walks and the promotion of the walks and the memory of Erasmus is the responsibility of a committee drawn from supporters and partner organisations. The upkeep of the paths and stiles that make up the Walk is the responsibility of the landowners and the Highways Authority. The committee monitors and reports on the condition of the rights of way involved. The trust acknowledges the support that we continue to receive from Lichfield City Council, Lichfield District Council and Staffordshire County Council.
A number of specific projects, to improve the amenity and impact of the walk have also been developed and successfully completed. Of particular note is the establishment of an orchard containing examples of some of the trees popular in Erasmus's time. The orchard is located next to Apsley House the highest point of the walk. (See map). The Trust is indebted to the landowners and farmers over whose property the Walk passes and in particular acknowledges the generous allocation of the land for the orchard from Mr Geoff Hollinshead, a local farmer who has been very supportive of the Walk since its inception. A current project involves the siting of a statue of Erasmus on the new Darwin Park development, and will be the new starting point of the walk (see below). The statue, designed by John Sanders, is planned for completion during 2009.
Although the route can be walked at any time the Trust organises four seasonal walks per year plus the Sheriff's Walk, led by the current holder of that office and supported by the Trust. All the walks have a leader and a back marker All are welcome to attend.