Wednesday 1 May 2019

Walk this May - National Walking Month

Walking is good for you, it is a great, gentle form of exercise and doesn't need any special equipment or clothing so is accessible to everyone who has the mobility.

You can walk at the pace to suit you and walking allows you to stop and observe along the way, whether that's window shopping, noticing architectural details or observing nature.

If more people walked for short journeys then there would be fewer vehicles on the roads and so less air pollution and less fuel used.

Of course it's not all easy:

If you walk on the pavement along main roads then you risk inhaling air pollution

Many towns and cities are not pedestrian friendly, many don't have good pavements or crossing places and many may not feel safe, particularly after dark or for elderly people or children.

There are some things that we can do ourselves to make walking in built up areas better:

choose to walk along minor roads, this cuts down a lot on the effect of pollution

join a campaign, such as Living Streets to push for better, more walkable communities

And there are some things that need to be done at an organisational level:

communities need to be designed for pedestrians, cyclists, mobility scooters, prams and public transport

low speed zones need to be brought in to reduce accidents

electric and hybrid cars need to become the norm to reduce pollution in built up areas

people need to be encouraged to move from cars into other forms of transport

If you're looking for ideas on how to make the most of enjoying walking, the Tree Council share some ideas on how to enjoy walking in the woods this month.

Edinburgh is a very walkable city in some ways though it becomes less so as the volume of traffic increases all the time and some road junctions seem designed to keep pedestrians waiting forever before we can cross. The city does have some lovely green spaces to walk in, and here are just a few of my favourites:

Corstorphine Hill

Midmar Paddock (likely to disappear under housing in the near future - see this post for details)

Figgate Park 

Craiglockart Dell, Water of Leith Walkway

 Where are your favourite places to walk?

How walkable is the place where you live?

May is National Walking Month, you can find out more here.


Sandy said...

We have better trails for walking in the last couple of decades in my area. Most people have to drive to the trails so that they can use them.

Smaller towns still haven't connected markets and such to where people live, though. That would be ideal, and better for the walker's health.

Caroline Gill said...

Lovely to see photos of some of your favourite walking places, Juliet. I wish I knew Edinburgh better... it is such a vibrant and varied city.