Walkers are Welcome UK Network is a nationwide initiative launched in 2007 to encourage towns and villages to be ‘welcoming to walkers’. The network has expanded rapidly and there are now over 100 locations across the UK that have joined this innovative community-led scheme to benefit from Walkers are Welcome accreditation.
Walkers are Welcome aims are to encourage and support towns and villages to
- be attractive destinations for walkers with top quality information on local walks
- offer local people and visitors excellent walking opportunities within their areas
- ensure that footpaths and facilities for walkers are maintained, improved and well signposted
- contribute to local tourism plans and regeneration strategies
- promote the health benefits of walking and increase participation
- encourage the use of public transport
Julia Bradbury, broadcaster and walking enthusiast, expressed her support by saying
“The Walkers Are Welcome Scheme is a truly innovative project. It’s such a simple concept: set up an accreditation scheme for walk-friendly towns, then encourage the towns to network together for support, advice and ideas. That simplicity has led to jaw dropping success…”
James Berresford, CEO VisitEngland says:
“On behalf of VisitEngland, I would like to recognise the fantastic work of Walkers are Welcome Towns Network and the national executive in encouraging a community led approach to developing towns and villages with excellent walking facilities. This initiative presents a framework for destinations to develop a coherent walking offer, that in conjunction with destination organisations can further grow the local visitor economy. VisitEngland looks forward to working with Walkers are Welcome in the future”.
Kate Ashbrook, patron of Walkers Are Welcome and president of the Ramblers, says:
“Walkers Are Welcome has grown at an astonishing pace as more and more towns and villages have seen the benefits of accreditation and have come on board. Now walkers know that, if they see the friendly footprint logo, they are assured of a warm welcome throughout the town, and a good path network and waymarked walks round about. So everyone benefits – visitors, residents and the local economy.”