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Celebrate National Walking Month in Hertfordshire

PUBLISHED: 11:10 30 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:10 30 April 2018

Sopwell Secrets walkers on Butterfield Lane, St Albans, under the Abbey Line bridge listening to guide Maggy Douglas (photo: Chris Newman)

Sopwell Secrets walkers on Butterfield Lane, St Albans, under the Abbey Line bridge listening to guide Maggy Douglas (photo: Chris Newman)

Christopher John Newman

Explore and connect with Herts’ spring countryside at dozens of special events to mark National Walking Month

May is National Walking Month and there are many opportunities to get out and explore the county. It’s a cause for celebration as it’s an ideal time to enjoy the spring flowers and warmer weather.

The county council’s Countryside and Rights of Way Service is coordinating Walking Month in May to showcase some of the best opportunities Hertfordshire has to offer.

The county is an ideal location for both urban and countryside walks. It has several Local Nature Reserves, a National Nature Reserve (Broxbourne Woods), 49 Green Flag Award winning parks, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (The Chilterns), and rare chalk rivers. The county’s 5,000 Public Rights of Way also provide 3,100 km of walking routes.

Walking Month is set to be a wonderful collaboration of outdoor activities and pursuits, bringing together a huge range of organisations. All of the events run by the Countryside and Rights of Way Service via its Walks and More listings are free and cater for all audiences, from day-long rambles to family friendly bug hunts. There are a variety of themes including nature trails, local history, the dawn chorus, singing strolls and photography walks.

Guided walks are a great way of getting to know an area, giving you the confidence to return with friends and family to experience the changes each season brings. Many of the walks will be repeated later in the year or are part of a series led by a group that you can then connect with and join. Visit hertfordshire.gov.uk/walksandmore to search for events.

Upper Gade Valley walkers crossing the river Gade north of Great Gaddesden (photo: Chris Newman)Upper Gade Valley walkers crossing the river Gade north of Great Gaddesden (photo: Chris Newman)

If you just want to discover somewhere new or get active there are plenty of Hertfordshire Health Walks to choose from. To celebrate the popular programme, there will be a Mass Health Walk event on Monday May 14. We are hoping to attract the largest number of people ever to take part in a Hertfordshire Health Walk at the same time. The Mass Health Walk will show the country that Hertfordshire is a county of walkers! In the past we have had 630 people walking at the same time across Herts and we want to break this record. With a dozen or more Health Walks available on the day there is no excuse for missing out – simply visit the website or check Facebook and Twitter for your local participating walk. Plus if you attend six or more Health Walks anytime throughout May and June we’ll send you a goody bag (while stock last), including a step counter, activity tracker, pen, water bottle and tote bag. Pick up a loyalty card from the leader at your first Health Walk.

The Walking Month is also being celebrated through festivals across Hertfordshire. These will provide an opportunity for residents to explore their county, get active and make new friends.

Don’t miss out – some of the events have limited availability –so visit the website, hertfordshire.gov.uk/walksandmore, email healthwalks.cms@hertfordshire.gov.uk or call 01992 588433 to find out more. Sian Price is Countryside Management Service’s Hertfordshire Health Walks officer

Walking month festivals

Stevenage Walking Festival, May 5-13

Hatfield Walking Festival, May 14-20

Chilterns Walking Festival, May 19-June 3

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