Walkers pulled on boots for festival

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WALKERS were out in force over the weekend, hiking the highways and byways and enjoying the countryside.

Scores of people took part in Corby’s fourth annual walking festival which was launched on Saturday at East Carlton Park by town mayor Gail McDade and Cllr Paul Beattie, the borough’s champion for walking and cycling.

During the three-day programme walks were offered to suit all ages and physical abilities, from gentle strolls to more challenging hikes around Corby and the Welland Valley.

The festival was to have finished today with a fun day at the park in aid of Lakelands Hospice but it had to be cancelled after recent heavy rain left the ground water-logged.

Corby Council, the county council, which donated £1,500 towards the cost of promoting the event, the RSPB, the Wildlife Trust and walking groups organise the festival, which aims to promote healthy activities and reveal fascinating facts about the countryside.

Suzanne Preston, the borough council’s rural pride officer and chairman of the festival’s organising committee, said: “The weather swung in our favour and we had between 15 and 20 people on most of the walks. We organised themed walks for people interested in history, wildlife and photography.”

The programme included several heritage walks, with local historian and author Dr Peter Hill who led hikes in Geddington and Newton on Saturday and a six-mile ramble around Great Oakley and Little Oakley yesterday. Other highlights included a 15-mile walk to Oakham and a walk in Great Oakley led by Corby Photographic Society.