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Special walk and picnic to celebrate 10 years of HeartSmart Walks

Introduction

For the past decade Chichester District Council's HeartSmart Walk Leaders have been helping residents discover more of the great outdoors with free walks across the district. A special walk and picnic has been arranged to celebrate 10 years of HeartSmart Walks on Monday 6 August at 10.30am.


"Our HeartSmart Walks are very popular and we want to encourage even more people to make the most of a free activity that's so good for heart, health and state of mind," says Cllr Eileen Lintill, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Wellbeing, and Community Services at Chichester District Council.

"The celebratory walk will start outside the pavilion at the top of Oaklands Park, Chichester. It is a lovely 3 mile walk along Centurion Way and will take around 1 - 1 ½ hours. This will then be followed by a picnic in Oaklands Park from 12noon.

"We want everyone to come along and help us celebrate 10 years of helping people get out and about and stay active. Hopefully the weather will be a bit sunnier and drier than it has been recently!" 

All of HeartSmart walks offer participants the chance to go at their own pace and enjoy the scenery. They are especially good if you are not too sure where to go, or perhaps feel nervous about stepping out on your own. And new walkers are accepted throughout the year, so it's never too late to start!

Accredited by Walking for Health, a joint initiative between The Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support, the walks provide an opportunity for regular exercise that can make a world of difference to a person's general health.

HeartSmart walk leader Anne Adamson, 67, from Emsworth, was one of the first leaders 10 years ago. She says: "I like to pass on my enthusiasm for the area and my love of walking. It is nice to have a chat with people as you walk along. It is nice to catch sight of deer or sometimes a cuckoo.

"The walks are a great way to keep mobile and I would recommend them to everyone. People know me because I always bring my dog Harriet along. She's a Dalmatian and a bit of a character. The other walkers like to make a fuss of her and she helps to break the ice with new members."

Eric Hawkins, 77, from Chichester, is another of the original HeartSmart walk leaders. He says: "I can't believe it has been 10 years, it has gone so quickly.

"I've always had a love of walking and was born and bred in Chichester so know this area well. I like to pass that knowledge on when I lead my walks. I have what I call my summer walk and winter walk. I know some people aren't so enthusiastic about walking ankle-deep in mud, so with my winter walk I keep it quite close to Chichester. My summer walk goes further afield."

If the weather is poor, the walk may be cancelled so phone to check before setting out.

There is no need to book in advance, but please wear comfortable and appropriate footwear and clothing. For a copy of the latest programme, or to find out more about training as a Walking for Health Volunteer Walk Leader, please contact our Health Development Team on 01243 534589 or health@chichester.gov.uk