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Eye a ‘trailblazer’ after becoming official location for the Walkers Are Welcome group

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Eye Town Hall
Eye Town Hall

Eye is the first town in north Suffolk to be named as an official location for the Walkers Are Welcome group.

Walkers are Welcome is a UK-wide, community-led network of accredited towns, with the aim of developing and promoting walking in areas with something different to offer.

Organiser Merlin Carr said: “We were accredited this month by a national committee and this will be a great thing for Eye.

“We are currently busy working behind the scenes to help publicise the news.”

Mr Carr said the scheme in Eye would officially launch at the Suffolk Walking Festival, running from May 12 to June 3.

He added; “The accreditation from a national body will help us publicise that Eye is a good place to walk and where walkers will be welcomed by people and businesses.”

Mr Carr added that the group will work to maintain upgrade existing footpaths in the area, as well as install new ones. The group will do this through advice from Suffolk County Council and Mid-Suffolk Council, and through fundraising.

“Eye will be a trailblazer as this will be the first in Mid-Suffolk to be fully accredited.

“We will work with transport providers and develop links so walkers can get buses to pathways with ease.”

Walkers are Welcome status is awarded to towns and villages that support walkers by meeting national criteria such as producing leaflets and maps, organising walks, helping to maintain footpaths and ensuring local amenities give walkers a warm welcome.

Eye’s accreditation follows the formal launch of Clare, Suffolk, as a Walkers are Welcome town earlier this month.

The town joins Shotley, which was accredited in March last year.

Don Davenport, of Walkers are Welcome’s executive committee, said: “Clare and Eye highlight the great work already undertaken on rights of way in their respective areas.

“It was also testament to the high level of encouragement and support given by members of the Suffolk County Council.

“We look forward to other Suffolk towns joining the Walkers are Welcome fold in 2018, hopefully in time to travel North of the border into Norfolk and join us for the Walkers are Welcome Annual Get Together in Cromer on October 12 to 14 – they will be sure of a very warm welcome.”

More information at walkersarewelcome.org.uk .

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