Walkers are Welcome celebrates their 10th anniversary
It was ten years ago that Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire became the first ever Walkers are Welcome (WaW) town. Today, there are over 110 towns and villages in England, Scotland and Wales that have become nationally accredited WaW locations.
The WaW National Committee recently conducted a survey to collate the many achievements of current members across the U.K. in the last 10 years. Together, they have created new walking routes – over 1200 routes covering over 6,400 miles; opened up routes that had been abandoned; launched walking festivals – representing 115 days per year and involving nearly 9,000 people; maintained thousands of miles of paths; promoted the use of public transport; publicised a wide variety of walking opportunities for all ages and abilities; and considerably helped to boost their local economies.
The WaW scheme has meant that Horncastle is now on the UK walking map, and has opened the eyes of local people and visitors to the walking opportunities on their doorstep.
As volunteers we have helped coordinate the National Conference; had tidy up events and organised many guided walks, and we are producing a walking booklet aimed at children.
We will continue our work to bring the pleasures and benefits of walking to an ever-wider audience, and to offer a warm welcome to locals and visitors who, in turn, help to sustain our local businesses and facilities.
Bob Wayne, Horncastle Walkers are Welcome