‘Walk on Hebrides’, develop and deliver programmes of short health walks throughout the Western Isles as part of the physical activity strategy of NHS Western Isles.
The walks are led by volunteer walk leaders who have attended the one day walk leader training provided by Paths for All. The health walks are generally 30-45 minutes in duration and are a great way to meet new people and improve fitness.
Regular walking is the ideal physical activity to remain fit and healthy as it:
- Reduces the risk of heart disease by half
- Reduces the risk of cancers, particularly bowel and breast cancer
- Reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes
- Can improve your mood and reduce the risk of depression.
During 16th-19th July, Paths for Health are organising another range of FREE fun-filled walks which encouraged individuals, friends and family to participate at, coinciding with the 2014 Hebridean Celtic Festival. We are planning 4 themed walks in the Lews Castle Grounds on the following dates:
Wednesday 16th – Predator and Prey
Thursday 17th – Nature in the Frame
Friday 18th – History Walk
Saturday 19th – 12pm start from Golf Club – Welly Walk and Pond Dipping.
Pictured left are the Westside Group who participated in one of our recent transported walks. The Group’s walk was held at Lemreway in South Lochs, Isle of Lewis.
Last year’s annual Ghost Walk held on Thursday 31st October, and was agreed by all to have been a big success.
Approximately 70 individuals departed from the Woodlands Centre at 7.30pm and were led round the Stornoway Castle Grounds by torchlight.
A large number who attended got into the ‘spirit’ by wearing halloween costumes. Some screaming was also understood to have taken place due to the unexpected appearance of ghostly characters (or health promotion staff in halloween costumes) during the walk. Free hot chocolate and goodies were also offered at the end of the walk to participants. For further information, please contact Chris Ryan, Paths to Health Coordinator, tel. 01851 762017 or 07743 507 982.
A free Halloween Walk, which consists of a walk round Langass Woods, took place on Thursday 31st October at 11am. A large number of individuals attended, some wearing fancy dress. For further information, please contact Kenna MacInnes, Senior Health Promotion Officer, tel. 01870 602588.
During 17th-20th July, Paths for Health organised a range of FREE fun-filled walks which encouraged individuals, friends and family to participate at, coinciding with the 2013 Hebridean Celtic Festival.
‘Walk with Me’ is a national campaign to encourage older adults to become more active by walking more.
The main focus of the campaign is to recruit Walking Champions who will then encourage someone who doesn’t currently walk regularly to begin to walk more. To find out more simply visit http://www.pathsforall.org.uk/walkwithme
North Uist Over 50’s Walking Group
An Over 50s walking group has been established in North Uist and the group meet every Thursday for a minimum of an hours walk in and around North Uist. To view their list of dates, meeting points and walks being organised please click here.
At the end of every month, the group participate in a transported walk which takes them further afield to Benbecula, South Uist and Eriskay.
Walk Route Leaflets
In partnership with Tourism Hebrides a series of walk route leaflets are to be printed to encourage independent walking throughout the islands. A little generic walk pack folder has already been created which will contain the 8 leaflets that are appropriate to particular areas.
WIAMH Transported Walks
In partnership with WIAMH (Western Isles Association for Mental Health), a programme of monthly transported health walks will be held during Spring to Autumn 2014 (further details to follow).
Survey of Existing Walking Routes
Working in partnership with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, a survey to ascertain existing walks routes throughout the islands is to be undertaken. The survey will review the condition of, and what management issues the walking routes may have.
This will be done on an ongoing basis, but the priority will be those routes that are most suitable for health walks.
Trained Volunteer Walk Leaders
‘Walk on Hebrides’ has trained volunteer walk leaders on Lewis, Harris, the Uists and Barra and during 2013 we plan to deliver programmes of short health walks at various locations throughout the islands.
Take 30 is the new Ramblers Scotland guide to walking for health and fitness.
Presentation Event for Walk Leaders and Regular Walkers
A networking and presentation event was held on 7th March at the Newton Community Centre, Seaforth Road, Stornoway, to reward some of the walk leaders and regular walkers who have contributed to ‘Walk On Hebrides’, the health walks project. Photos show some of the walkers and walk leaders receiving their certificates and pedometers from Chris Ryan, Paths for Health Coordinator.
A similar event was held in Uist on 15th March to award walkers and walk leaders certificates and pedometers.
To find out more about health walks in your area contact:
- Chris Ryan, Health Walks Coordinator, tel. 01851 762016.
- Lorraine Gillies, Senior Administrator, Health Promotion, tel. 01851 762017.
WALK MORE FEEL THE DIFFERENCE!