PEOPLE are being encouraged to safely get out and about by embracing more walking as the nation emerges from a long winter of lockdown restrictions.
Tameside Council is backing the Greater Manchester Walking Festival, which provides residents with a great way to safely enjoy reconnecting with the great outdoors as well as their friends and neighbours.
No matter whether you're a stroller, roamer, shuffler, moocher or a marcher, the festival has something for everyone, with guides and inspiation for those new to walking as well as regular striders.
Back for the seventh year, it runs from Saturday 1 May to Monday 31 May during national walking month, and offers ideas and inspiration to inspire everyone to get outside and explore towns, cities, the countryside, canals, riversides and parks across Tameside and Greater Manchester.
The GM Walking ambition is to make Greater Manchester the first 'Walking Region' in the UK.
A selection of challenges, activities and ideas collated into three daily calendars - beginner, intermediate and experienced walker - are available as a handy resource to download from the GM Walking website. The calendars can be used by individuals and in small groups.
The links between walking and helping to create a sense of wellbeing are strong, so during Mental Health Awareness Week from 10 to 16 May, the featured walk ideas focus on ways to help wellbeing. There are also ideas to incorporate walking into family time during Walk to School Week from 17 to 21 May.
A Tameside Council Spokesperson said: "We hope lots of residents get involved in the walking activities planned throughout May. We have all had a tough year – especially during the last few months in lockdown - so safely getting out more is exactly what we need.
"Walking is a great activity and an easy way for people to take their recommended daily amount of physical activity. Any amount of physical activity is good for you, but the recommended weekly amounts for adults are five lots of 30 minutes moderate intensity activity on five or more days of the week."
Louise Robbins, Strategic Lead GM Walking said: "The last year has been challenging for everyone and whilst many have enjoyed the simple pleasures of walking and being outdoors, there are undoubtedly people who are emerging from the lockdown now. The festival is the perfect excuse to kickstart an active lifestyle and to get outdoors more with the kids or a group of friends."
Join the conversation and share photos and your experiences of walking in Greater Manchester on social media, follow @GMWalks on Twitter.