Locals urged to take on health walk challenge as part of new festival

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Locals urged to take on health walk challenge as part of new festival

Local people are being urged to take part in a new walking festival that offers fun and challenging walks at a network of Commonwealth Woods in and around Glasgow.

The 2014 Commonwealth Woods Walking Festival, which runs throughout August, aims to encourage residents and visitors to take up walking as a way of staying healthy while at the same time enjoying the stunning scenery in their local woods.

The free guided walks include wildlife spotting as well as walks aimed at parents and children such as ‘Nature Detective Walks’ and ‘Pushy Parents Buggy Walks’. They will take place at Commonwealth Woods sites in Drumchapel, Easterhouse, Erskine, Johnstone and Bellshill.

The festival has been created as part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games legacy to encourage people to discover the wood on their doorstep and get active outdoors.

Organisers including The Forestry Commission Scotland and Paths for All are hoping people of all ages and abilities support the initiative. Ros Mills, Commonwealth Woods Walking Development Officer, said: “This family-friendly festival offers local people and visitors the chance to enjoy a series of informal walks in their local woodland while enjoying stunning scenery and wildlife.

“Walking has so much to offer in terms of fitness and enjoyment and we hope the success of the recent Commonwealth Games encourages people to try something new and take part in more physical activity.”

Local organisations and walking groups are invited to lead their own walks during the festival. Ros added: “We hope local groups with an interest in walking and the outdoors will share their ideas with us and consider leading their walks at one or more of our Commonwealth Woods. We’d like to see as many people as possible take part in the festival.”

The festival also includes two walks as part of the Commonwealth Woods photography competition to design a 2015 calendar. Participants will have the opportunity to use a range of fun and quirky props to take a range of pictures in the woods which can then be uploaded to the competition website to be in with the chance of winning a photography masterclass or family photo shoot worth £500.

More than 7,000 people have taken part in free events at activities across a network of 14 Commonwealth Woods in and around Glasgow since the legacy project launched in June 2013.

To find out where and when walks are taking place visit www.commonwoods.org.uk/activities