Walkers are Welcome
Walkers are Welcome is a nationwide initiative, launched in 2007 to encourage towns and villages to be ‘welcoming to walkers’. The network has expanded rapidly and there are now over 100 locations across the UK that have joined this innovative community-led scheme. Proudly, Shropshire is a real champion of Walkers are Welcome with 10 towns and villages now taking part. To be part of the scheme, towns and villages need to be attractive destinations for walkers with top quality information on the excellent local walking opportunities within their areas. Each place need to ensure that footpaths and facilities for walkers are maintained, improved and well signposted and contribute to local tourism plans and regeneration strategies. Finally, each place on the Walkers are Welcome scheme must promote the health benefits of walking and increase participation. In a nutshell, the scheme promotes health and tourism, which I think is fantastic.
In and around the Shropshire Hills, the following towns and villages are part of the scheme: Bishop’s Castle, Church Stretton, Cleobury Mortimer, Clun, Ironbridge, Ludlow, Much Wenlock and Wellington (Oswestry and Whitchurch in the north of the county are also part of the scheme).
“Shropshire is one of the most rural counties in England, you can walk for miles without seeing a soul. The area is geologically diverse and you can enjoy this wonderfully contrasting scenery on the well maintained footpaths that criss-cross our beautiful county.” – Shropshire Walkers are Welcome.
Walkers are Welcome towns and villages are places which have something special to offer walkers, and the stamp of approval can do an enormous amount for the local economy. Walkers know that a visit to an approved town guarantees them excellent walks and information about the area. By joining the scheme, the towns and villages involved have seen an increase in tourism to the area, which is wonderful. It is also fantastic for communities, who can benefit from the information available and can really appreciate all that the area in which they live has to offer.
Significantly, all the Shropshire towns and villages that are part of the scheme also have a Walking for Health scheme, offering regular, short, local led walks of up to 90 minutes. The promotion of health through walking is a fantastic community drive as well. You can find all the information about the shorter Walking for Health walks here: www.walkingforhealth.org.uk.
Walkers are Welcome events in Shropshire:
May – The bc ring (www.bcring.co.uk)
The Walking Festival (www.walkingfestival.co.uk) Wednesday 16 to Sunday 20 MAY 2018.
August – Challenge Walk (www.bcchallengewalk.co.uk)
June – Walking Festival (www.churchstrettonwalkingfestival.co.uk)
May – Walking Festival (www.visitironbridge.co.uk/walkingfestival)
June – The Ludlow Food Walk
August – Magnalonga (http://www.magnalonga.co.uk)
September – Walking Festival (https://www.facebook.com/Wenlock.walks/?ref=ts)
September – Walking Festival (http://www.wellingtonwalkersarewelcome.org.uk/Festival.htm
Images courtesy of Shropshire and Beyond.