Best foot forward for walks festival

It’s time to dust off those walking boots once more and prepare to take in the best scenery the borough has to offer at this year’s Autumn Footprints walking festival.

The 11th annual event is expected draw in ramblers from across the country to take party in a range of 39 free guided walks and informative talks, including many in Erewash.

Routes are set to include spectacular views from Shipley Country Park and picturesque Kirk Hallam Lake, from Saturday September 14, to Sunday,September 29.

Organiser Marion Farrell,of Groundwork Creswell, Ashfield and Mansfield, said: “We’ve got history-based walks, wildlife walks, different distance walks, hopefully there’s something for most people in there!”

The yearly festival is set to be bigger and better in 2013, with more routes added to the roster, including a seven-and-a-half mile walk along the Erewash Valley Trail.

With an average of 20 folk taking part in each walk, all led by knowledgeable volunteers, and more than 700 taking part last year, the 16-day festival is set to be as popular as ever.

“I think this helps people realise what a lovely area it is round here.” Marion said. “And walking is also very good for you!”

For more information and booking walks, which is recommended, contact Groundwork on 01773 719961, or head to the website: www.autumnfootprints.co.uk.

The festival is a joint initiative financed through Groundwork, Erewash and Amber Valley borough councils and Derbyshire County Council, with volunteer help from community groups and Erewash Valley Trail.

The festival kicks off with a launch event at Shipley Country Park on Saturday, September 14, at 10am, followed by a walk around the park entitled ‘Shipley Park, Then and Now’.

A full timetable of the events and attractions is available from your local library.