7 ways to start walking more in Hertfordshire
PUBLISHED: 11:00 09 May 2017
It's spring, with new life and warmer, longer days. But if you still need inspiration to pull on your walking boots, the Countryside Management Service's Sian Price has some great ideas
Getting us all walking regularly, and in turn improving our health and wellbeing as well as freeing up congestion and reducing pollution, is the aim of National Walking Month. Running throughout May, the campaign by UK charity Living Streets is challenging everyone to #Try20 – to walk for 20 minutes every day this month. This could be walking rather than taking the bus to town, commuting on foot, taking a lunchtime stroll or taking the children for a walk (it will help burn off their energy) in the evening.
Go to livingstreets.org.uk for more.
Read & walk
Love reading and want to share your passion with fellow bookworms? You can do just this and get active to boot by joining a walking reading group. Libraries in Hertfordshire are increasingly promoting book clubs on the move as an opportunity for people to come together to share their thoughts on recent reads while improving their health and wellbeing.
No walking and reading group at your local library? Contact the Countryside Management Service and we’ll support you to set one up.
Letchworth Library is hosting a walking and reading group on Tuesday May 9 from 2-3pm. Meet at the library.
Explore the past
If you’re new to the area or interested in learning more about the history of where you live, then there’s plenty to whet your appetite. Take yourself and friends and family on a self-guided tour using the green spaces maps available to download on the CMS website, hertfordshire.gov.uk/cms/getactive. Alternatively, sign up for a history tour at your local museum.
Abbots Langley History Walk takes place on Monday May 1 from 2-4pm. Meet at the main car park off High Street.
Panshanger’s History and Landscapes walk begins at Thieves Lane car park, just outside Hertford, on Friday May 5 and Friday May 26 from 10am-midday.
History of the Alban Way is on May 13 and 17, from 10am-4pm. Meeting in Hatfield, book via Walks & More (see below).
There’s so much more to walking in the countryside than breathing in the fresh air and burning a few calories. Why not broaden your knowledge of Herts’ wildlife, including birds, bats and bugs? It’s the wonderfully-named International Dawn Chorus Day on May 7, so if you’re any early bird (or can be for one day!) there are lots of events to join where you will learn to recognise some of the UK’s distinctive bird songs. Go to the website, idcd.info for full listings. One place to find a multitude of fun wildlife activities is the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust website, hertswildlifetrust.org.uk, which lists plenty of events for all the family to enjoy.
Discover Carpenters Wood in Chorleywood is on Wednesday May 24, 2pm-4,30pm.
Meet at Walsworth Common, Hitchin for a Dawn Chorus event on Sunday May 14 at 5.30-8am.
Rights of Way
There are over 3,200km of Rights of Way in Hertfordshire just waiting to be explored! If you’d prefer to join a friendly group to get out into the countryside then the Hertfordshire Health Walks, local Ramblers groups, U3A, local footpath societies and Friends of the Hertfordshire Way are all a great places to start.
Hertfordshire Way Walk, part of the Stevenage Walking Festival, Monday May 8. Meet at 10am in Weston. Ver Valley Walk, part of the Chilterns Walking Festival (May 15-29, see visitchilterns.co.uk/walkingfest for more than 70 walks), Monday May 29, 10am-1pm. Meet at Markyate.
Herts’ biggest walking group
On May 16 last year, more than 600 people took part in Health Walks offered across Hertfordshire. This year the Health Walks team is hoping to beat this number and need your help. Lace up your trainers or boots and join the county’s largest walking group.
Information about all the walks taking place on Monday 22 as part of a Mass Health Walk are at hertfordshire.gov.uk/healthwalks. Sign up and search for walks by postcode.
Walks & more
Countryside Management Service, part of Herts County Council, organises a vibrant programme of rambles and fun outdoor activities called Walks and More. For more information about the events listed and to book a place, visit hertfordshire.gov.uk/walksandmore
To keep up to date with news and events relating to Health Walks and Walks and More events, sign up for the monthly Walking in Hertfordshire newsletter at hertfordshire.gov.uk/updateme