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News  »  Hertfordshire Walking Festival May 2016

   Hertfordshire Walking Festival May 2016    May 9, 2016



PR 20768

For Immediate Release

06 May 2016

Walking back to happiness

84-year-old Hertfordshire resident Ken Wright joined his first Hertfordshire Health Walk back in July 2015. Today, less than a year later, he is somewhat addicted to walking and leads several walks a week as a trained volunteer health walk leader for Hertfordshire County Council.

Hertfordshire County Council now offers the largest Health Walks programme in the country, with over 200 volunteer walk leaders helping around 43,000 Hertfordshire residents each year explore the beautiful countryside and waterways of Hertfordshire. 

And as Hertfordshire’s Year of Walking draws to a close there is no sign of momentum slowing down, with the Hertfordshire Walking Festival providing a month of exciting walking opportunities across the county throughout May.

The festival has been organised by Hertfordshire County Council’s Countryside Management Service, in partnership with a range of local organisations and dedicated volunteers.

Ken, who is a member of the Welwyn Garden City society and is a local art gallery trustee, is leading some of the walks during the festival. He said: “I’m a dedicated walker because of the fantastic health benefits it brings, but walking is very sociable too. I normally walk alone but I’ve found it’s really nice to walk with other people for a change; I’ve made lots of friends and always feel part of a team.

“What’s great about the walks is being out in the fresh air and having a chat. Having a coffee or tea afterwards is nice too. I love photography and do a bit of that on the walks as it was part of my job many years ago.”

Hertfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Localism and Libraries, Teresa Heritage, said: “Inactivity levels in Hertfordshire are better than the national average, however there are still too many people who are not moving enough and their health is suffering as a result; increasing the number of people who do regular physical activity is a key priority for us.

“Walking just 150 minutes each week reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 60 per cent, heart attacks by around a third and hip fractures by up to 68 per cent. It also reduces the risk of diabetes and certain cancers.

“Health walks are a fantastic way of encouraging people to get out and about to see what our beautiful county has to offer. People like Ken are our best ambassadors – those who have done it, seen the benefits and now want to help others join the fun! We welcome residents getting involved in their communities in this way.”

The Hertfordshire Walking Festival runs throughout May and there are free guided family-friendly walks taking place across the county every day, from themed walks such as mindfulness, photography, reading and film/TV trails to historical tours and wildlife walks. 

Walks last between 20 and 90 minutes and many of the routes are wheelchair accessible. For a full list of walks visit www.hertsdirect.org/walkingfestival

For information about other health initiatives in Hertfordshire please visit www.hertsdirect.org/healthinherts

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