Dursley gains 'Walkers are Welcome' status
11:20am Wednesday 18th September 2013 in News
DURSLEY is celebrating after being awarded Walkers are Welcome status, which is hoped will bring a tourism boost to the town.
Walkers are Welcome is a national community-led scheme for places which have something special to offer walkers.
It strengthens a town’s reputation as a place for visitors to come and enjoy the outdoors, bringing useful benefits to the local economy and ensuring that footpaths and facilities for walkers are maintained in good condition, benefiting both local people and visitors.
Earlier this year a community group, Dursley Welcomes Walkers, was formed to lead a campaign to achieve this prestigious honour for the town.
The campaign included getting support from an array of public and private sector organisations and a petition of local signatures to demonstrate community backing for the bid.
In addition, it had to formulate plans to demonstrate that footpaths will be checked and maintained, together with active promotion of walking and local paths including some linking to public transport routes.
Chairman of the Dursley Welcomes Walkers group, Chris Cherry, said a great deal of work had gone into the bid.
"We are delighted with achieving this award which we hope will strengthen the town's standing as a place for visitors to come to enjoy the outdoors and bring useful benefits to the local economy," he said.
"We are really grateful to all those individuals who signed our petition along with the help received from Dursley Town Council, Cam Parish Council and all the other groups in the town who wrote in supporting the application."
The town and nearby area benefits from the Cotswold Way National Trail passing through and Dursley is already regarded as an excellent destination for walking, both in terms of places to walk and also the welcome people receive.
Mr Cherry added: "We hope this initiative will help to not only give the town the recognition it deserves, but also to help improve what is on offer and to develop the local economy."
In addition Dursley Welcomes Walkers is hosting its 2013 Dursley Walks Festival, which will take place from Friday, October 4 to Sunday, October 6.
A copy of the festival programme, as well as information about the walkers quiz night being held on the Friday at the Dursley Community Centre, can be found at www.dursleywelcomeswalkers.org.uk
The programme can also be found in some shops and businesses on Dursley high street as well as in the council offices in Cam and Dursley.
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