THE Wirral Walking Festival will take place from May 1-31 with over 100 walks throughout the peninsula.
There is something suitable for everyone, regardless of age or ability.
Highlights of the festival include a series of walks to mark the 40th anniversary of Wirral Country Park, one of the first designated Country Parks in Britain, and walks organised by the Wirral Footpaths and Open Spaces Preservation Society in this, their 125th year of existence.
Other events are organised by Wirral Council’s Rangers, local walking clubs and societies such as the Ramblers Association, while the festival also incorporates walks which are part of regular local initiatives such as ‘Buggy Park Fitness’ alongside other events incorporated within the themes of ‘History and Heritage’, ‘Habitats and Wildlife’, ‘Food and Drink’ and ‘Health Walks’.
Tours of the tidal Hilbre Islands at the mouth of the River Dee and guided walks around the famous Ness Gardens will feature as part of the festival, as will the Wirral Coastal Walk, which attracts more than 5,000 people to the 15 mile route, taking place on Sunday 19th May.
Cllr Chris Meaden, Wirral Council Cabinet member for Culture, Tourism and Leisure, said: "Wirral’s coast and countryside has for a long time attracted walkers from all over the area and beyond, but this is the first time the Council has joined together with local groups to put together a dedicated festival of walking.
"It promises to be fantastic, with something taking place every single day during the month of May. It is fitting that the inaugural walking festival takes place when the Wirral Footpaths and Open Spaces Preservation Society celebrates its 125th anniversary. They have been instrumental in campaigning to protect and maintain many paths and public rights of way for all those years.
"I hope many people from all over the country come to the Visit Wirral website and find out what we have planned over the course of the month and find something that takes their fancy. We might not be able to guarantee the weather, but we can definitely guarantee they will feel welcome."
Some of the walks planned during the festival will be accessible to people with limited mobility and some are designed for all the family to take part in. It is recommended that people check with the walk organiser for each event if you have specific requirements, including wheelchair access or if you are unable to step over stiles.
A brochure containing full details of all the 2013 Wirral Walking Festival events is available at www.visitwirral.com from today. Telephone enquiries can be made to 0151 648 4371.