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Walking scheme celebrates tenth anniversary

This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.

Published: 05/11/2012

The project started in Kingswood in 2002 with the aim of encouraging residents to do more physical activity by joining a health walk in their own community.

Over the past 10 years, the scheme has gone from strength to strength with more than 3,000 people taking part in walks throughout scenic South Gloucestershire and we have built up a network of 40 volunteers to lead the walks.

Walking to Health coordinator Alex Francis said: “We are delighted that lots of people who walk with us regularly now walk on their own and with other groups such as the Ramblers, or progress onto other activities. Walking is a low-risk, low intensity activity suitable for people new to exercise or who are recovering from injury, or ill health. The walks we provide are for people who want to walk for health benefits at a moderate pace over distances of up to four miles. We have a full programme taking us right through the winter so if you haven’t already started walking then we would love to see you.”

Bernard Merrick is a volunteer leading walks in and around Kingswood and said the walks provide: “Mental stimulation, lovely views, lovely people and a feeling of goodness with a halo on completion.”

Jean Frary joined a walking group when she retired. She says the walks are good for relaxing her arthritic knee and she is benefiting from taking part in exercise following hospital treatment.

She said: “Other than the health benefits of the walks, I enjoy talking to lovely people, including the volunteers and the benefits of steady exercise outdoors and going to places you haven’t seen before.”

The winter walks have now started and run until February next year. Details are available online at or call 01454 868006.

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