Signing up support is first step for Keynsham walking initiative

Published on: 09 Nov 2013

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A new group is hoping to put Keynsham well and truly on the map as a walking destination – and is calling on residents to step up to support the scheme.

Walkers are Welcome is a national initiative that encourages towns to promote walking opportunities in their area by offering quality information on local routes and maintaining footpaths, among other objectives.

Keynsham’s action group, made up of representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and town council, was launched last month and hopes to encourage more people to visit the area and use the town’s facilities, such as shops, hotels, restaurants and pubs.  

To take the next step towards joining the Walkers are Welcome UK Network, five per cent of the town’s population – or around 800 people – must sign up to show their support for the scheme and forms are now available at several public places.

A spokesman for the group said the scheme had been adopted by more than 100 towns, including Winchcombe, which had reported a 40 per cent increase in visitor footfall, and Bradford-on Avon, which recently held a three-day walking festival attended by around 200 people.

He added: “With lovely countryside around to explore, and the town expanding as it is, it would help put Keynsham well and truly on the map.”

Traders in Keynsham have teamed up with the group to make forms available in the bid to show the town’s support for the scheme. Forms can be found at Truly Bespoke Kitchens in Carpenters Lane, Simply Carpets, Pomegranate Restaurant, Perfect Fit and Neals Fine Foods in Temple Street, and Churches the Newsagent, Wild About Flowers and Cafe Creme in the High Street.

The town was invited to join the scheme by the Joint Local Action Fund, which aims to promote outdoor activities locally and whose chairman, David Waterstone, has joined Keynsham’s action group.

The initial application fee of £50 is being funded by the town council, and while the plans for Keynsham are in the very early stages, schemes in other towns are often run by volunteers and are self-funding, with Winchcombe producing and selling a booklet to raise money, for example.

More information can be found at www.walkersarewelcome.org.uk.

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