An impressive list of winter walks into spring 2012 has been devised by the local leisure centres and Charnwood Borough Council ranging from gentle family rambles to five-mile hikes, and all centred around some of the best countryside in the country.
The walks idea took its first steps in 2004 with a small group and by 2010 more than 2,000 people are now regular walkers. Last year the record was well and truly smashed with a tremendous 2,301 people taking part.
One of those was Derek Fox from Sileby who attended over 80 per cent of walks during the year. In his early 70s, and a very keen walker, Derek says he enjoys all lengths and types of walks, and has met a number of new friends as a result.
Nita Pearson, Active Lifestyle Development Officer based at Charnwood Leisure Centre co-ordinates the walks and has organised the programme for 2012.
Councillor David Snartt, Charnwood Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “The success of the guided walks has meant that we can now offer around 36 varied walks between now and April. Our thanks go to the team of volunteer walk leaders who go out of their way to encourage newcomers to walks, and work hard to promote walks in the area. Walking is a cheap and simple way for people of all abilities to get fitter or stay healthy. Best of all, you can make some great friends!”
For 2012, Nita has recruited two new volunteer walk leaders, Alison Riggall and Alan Mortimore. Alison is keen on walking for health, and for the first time we will be able to include monthly walks in Shepshed, her local town. Open to everyone at no cost, Alison has planned the routes so that many are wheelchair and buggy friendly and is hoping to welcome whole families on her outings. Alan will also be offering lots of new walks and the 2012 programme also includes an introduction to Nordic Walking, geocaching, like a treasure hunt with GPS receivers, historical walks around Barrow upon Soar and a mystery walk around one of the most haunted locations in the county. All the walks are run by fully qualified and insured leaders, while most are free, some will require a small charge and booking is usually essential as numbers are limited to meet the insurance requirements.
Some dates for your dairy include:
Feb 3rd, Level two walk, four miles. Anstey.
7th February, Level three walk, seven miles. South Croxton.
15th February, Level two walk, three miles. Quorn.
16th February, Level three, five miles. Swithland Reservoir.
19th February, Level two walk, two miles Nordic Walking. Woodhouse Eaves.
21st February, Level one walk, two miles. Thurmaston.
For more information visit www.charnwood.gov.uk/walking or contact Nita Pearson on 01509 634 594.