Clare has now been accredited as a ‘Walkers are Welcome‘ location. This is a non-profit making Community Interest Company. A nationwide initiative, it was 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 accreditation.
It 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
Clare Walkers co-ordinated the successful achievement of these aims during 2016/17, supported by over 200 signatures from local people, and as a result the Town was accredited to the Scheme on 2 October 2017. The group is an integral element in Visit Clare’s strategy.
We are the first Town in West Suffolk, and the second group in Suffolk, to gain this award. Accreditation was achieved by Shotley Open Spaces earlier in 2017. Eye was accredited in 2018 and other towns and villages preparing for accreditation includes Snape. An alliance of these groups has now been formed within Suffolk.