Preparations are underway for Wolverhampton's fifth annual walking festival - with residents being urged to put their best foot forward on one of 30 free walks.

The Wolverhampton Walking Festival 2015, from Saturday 2 May to Sunday 10 May, 2015, promises to take people off the beaten path to explore different parts of Wolverhampton and the surrounding area, and with walks for people of all ages and abilities, there's sure to be something for everyone.

Among the highlights are guided walks around local beauty spots including West Park, East Park, Pendeford Mill, Northycote Farm, Bantock Park and the Smestow Valley, a special early morning walk to mark International Dawn Chorus Day, Nordic Walking taster sessions, Figure of Eight walks from Wolverhampton city centre and new 4 and 12 mile routes for the annual Walking for Health Challenge Trail.

Wolverhampton Mountaineering Club will be in the Clent Hills, Wolverhampton Ramblers will be heading to Kinver and Enville and there will also be health walks, slideshows, a sponsored walk in aid of Guide Dogs and a 'toddle waddle' for the little ones.

The festival has been organised by the Wolverhampton Healthy Lifestyle Service, Wolverhampton City Council and a number of other organisations and gets underway with a health walk around Northycote Farm on Saturday 2 May, 2015. On the same day, people can stroll around Bantock Park's Tree Trail or discover the Greenways and Pathways of Penn.

On Sunday 3 May, early birds can catch the dawn chorus with a walk and talk starting at 4.30am at Northycote Farm. There's also a health walk around Perton.

Highgate and Enville are the locations of an 8 mile circular walk on Bank Holiday Monday 4 May, 2015, while there will also be a History Walk around West Park in the company of Wolverhampton City Council's rangers.

A Walk from Wildside departs on Tuesday 5 May, 2015, taking in woodland, meadows, canals and the old Tettenhall railway line. Also the same day will be a health walk around Bantock Park and Bilston, Toddle Waddle in West Park, ramble along the Smestow Valley Nature Reserve and an evening slideshow presented by Wolverhampton Mountaineering Club.

The action packed programme continues on Wednesday 6 May, 2015, with a Nordic Walking taster session at West Park, a walk and talk at Pendeford Mill Nature Reserve, an evening walk around Codsall and 2 health walks, one over the Seven Cornfields and a second taking in the history and heritage of Monmore Green.

Attractions on Thursday 7 May, 2015, include a chance to meet the Birds of the Smestow Valley and a health walk around Northycote Farm. More strenuous pursuits will be offered by the Wolverhampton Figure of Eight Walks, one of 3 miles and one of 7, and a 3 mile hike over the Clent Hills with Wolverhampton Mountaineering Club.

Health walks around Pendeford and Fowlers Park are on offer on Friday 8 May, 2015, with an East Park History Walk taking place on Saturday 9 May, 2015.

Also the same day will be the Walking for Health Challenge Trail, with 4 or 12 mile options, with all proceeds going to Compton Hospice.

The festival concludes with 4 events on Sunday 10 May, 2015 - a 2 mile walk for 4 legged friends in aid of Guide Dogs and a Health Walk, both around West Park, a guided walk around Pendeford Mill and a walk around Kinver and Beyond.

All walks are free, although places on some walks need to be booked in advance. Everyone is welcome to take part; under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health Ros Jervis, said: "The Wolverhampton Walking Festival offers a fantastic range of walks to suit all ages and abilities - there really is something for everyone, so I'd urge people to pull on their walking boots and take part.

"Walking can improve your health and happiness, and it's also a great way to get or stay in shape. The Festival also supports our Call to Action for the city to come together to reduce rates of obesity in Wolverhampton - and I'd encourage everyone who takes part to record the miles they complete at Type=articles;Articleid=5683;Title=Tackling obesity in Wolverhampton; so together we can meet our Million Miles for Wolverhampton challenge."

Hayley Scott, Healthy Lifestyle Locality Manager, said: "The festival walks are a great opportunity to meet some friendly, like minded people and see some of the local beauty spots and hidden green parts of Wolverhampton and surrounding areas. Everyone is welcome, and best of all, they are all free."

For more information on the 2015 Wolverhampton Walking Festival, please call the Wolverhampton Healthy Lifestyle Service on 01902 444246 or freephone 0800 073 4242, or log on to Type=links;Linkid=5942;Title=Walking for Health in Wolverhampton;Target=_blank;.

The Wolverhampton Walking Festival 2015 is organised by Wolverhampton Healthy Lifestyle Service, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and Wolverhampton City Council with the assistance of Wolverhampton Ramblers Association, Nordic Walking UK, Wolverhampton Mountaineering Club, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Wolves Community Trust, Wildside Activity Centre and Wolf Mountain.

  • released: Wednesday 25 March, 2015