Launch event signals start of walks festival

Opening ceremony at Shipley Country Park for Autumn Footprints Festival, opened by Cllr Kewal Singh Athwall, Cllr Joan Dixon, Cllr Angela Walker, Cllr John Walker and Marion Farrell of Groundwork.
Opening ceremony at Shipley Country Park for Autumn Footprints Festival, opened by Cllr Kewal Singh Athwall, Cllr Joan Dixon, Cllr Angela Walker, Cllr John Walker and Marion Farrell of Groundwork.

The annual Autumn Footprints Amber Valley & Erewash Walking Festival, set in the heart of Derbyshire is in full swing after the festival was launched last weekend.

The 16-day festival of walks, which was launched on Saturday, September 13, will see hundreds of keen ramblers take on a variety of different walks led by volunteers up until to Sunday, September 28.

This festivities were launched by both the Mayors of Erewash and Amber Valley which saw the Mayors present each all-important Walk

Leader with an official badge to acknowledge the volunteers’ valuable contribution to the success of Autumn Footprints, which has been run for the last 11 years.

Walking Festival Co-­ordinator Marion Farrell, from Groundwork Cresswell, said:“Do join us on at least one of the 40 free walk guided walks during this walking festival.

“It is a fantastic way to see more of your local area.

“Most of the walks are close to bus and train routes enabling everyone to take part.

“We hope that this festival will inspire more people to get out and enjoy the footpaths of Derbyshire”

All the walks are free of charge, and will take place in areas of local heritage and natural history interest, taking walkers alongside rivers and canals as well as through towns and villages.

The walks are of varying lengths and gradient, ranging in length from one mile to twelve miles, offering something for everyone no matter what their interests or abilities.

There will be plenty of strolls and excursions in Belper including a five-mile walk around the town’s nature reserves and the River Derwent on Tuesday, September 23.

Other walks include ‘Exploring West of the Amber Valley and Ecclesbourne Valley’ on Sunday, September 14. 
And a ‘Swan Lake Walk’ in Horsley Woodhouse takes place the following day.
A free guide on the walks is available by calling 01773 841483.