A local walking initiative coordinated by Test Valley Borough Council is celebrating after being awarded national accreditation by England’s largest network of health walk schemes, Walking for Health.
Test Valley Health Walks secured the coveted accreditation last month, highlighting the quality of experience and support that participants can expect when taking part in one of the walks.
Walking for Health, run by the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support, is a nationwide movement dedicated to improving the nation’s health through walking and it has recently improved its accreditation criteria.
The robust new requirements are designed to give new walkers added confidence that Test Valley Health Walks, run by volunteers and co-ordinated by the Council, can support them to be active. Accredited Walking for Health walks are free, short and friendly.
Community and leisure portfolio holder, Councillor Tony Ward, said: “We are delighted that our walks have been accredited by Walking for Health. Our volunteer leaders help all sorts of people enjoy the many health benefits that regular walking brings and provide support every step of the way. Our walkers have fun, make new friends and get to know their local area.”
Test Valley Health Walks now organises walks that are no longer than 90 minutes, with at least one walk of less than 30 minutes every month. By keeping walks short, new walkers and those with long term health conditions feel more confident getting started.
Weekly local walk locations include, Romsey, Andover, Valley Park, Stockbridge, West Wellow and North Baddesley.
To find out how to get involved in Test Valley Health Walks, visit www.testvalley.gov.uk.