Wiltshire Publications

Walk yourself fit, healthy and happy!

Walkers ready to set off at last week’s meet.

Walkers ready to set off at last week’s meet.

LOCALpeople are being encouraged to get involved with free weekly walks around Westbury as a way to keep healthy and sociable.

The walks, part of the Get Wiltshire Walking scheme led by the county council, take place in Westbury every Thursday.

Community walks co-ordinator Louise Gale said, “In Westbury we have between 12 and 20 regular walkers each week in two paced groups, the ‘striders’ and ‘strollers’. Each walk is between 60 and 90 minutes, and the group enjoy a social get together afterwards at Fairfield Farm Café.

“The scheme is highly successful in helping people become more active and reducing the risk of a wide variety of health issues, but also in bringing people together as a community and helping reduce social isolation.

“It is now widely acknowledged that being outdoors greatly improves mental wellbeing and reduces stress and anxiety levels. Everyone is welcome provided they are independently mobile and able to complete the circuit.

“There is a one-off registration form to complete but, once registered, you can enjoy any of the walks on offer – in  24 different locations around the county – and you can always be assured of a warm welcome.

“The Westbury walk meets every Thursday at Leigh Park Community Centre, walk commences at 9.30am.”

Westbury’s community engagement manager, Liam Cripps, joined Louise and the group on a recent walk.

He said, “For me it was a great opportunity to meet some local people and also to realise the clear health and social benefits for some of the walkers, who were typically of retired age.

“People that I spoke to really benefited from the walking group which ensured they kept their social lives together and had someone to talk to regularly.”

Each walk is fully risk assessed and run by a qualified leader.

The next walk will be this Thursday 2nd June, starting at 9.30am at the Leigh Park Community Centre.