Following a successful pilot at the start of 2019, Eden Rivers Trust has today received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £9,900 to develop and extend their Eden River Rambles programme in the Upper Eden.
Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on providing riverside walks that combine the health benefits of exercise with increased access to and understanding of the river environment.
A series of 18 guided walks is planned between now and next March that will allow walkers to explore different sections of the river, learn about river processes, wildlife, river conservation, flood management as well as the river’s cultural and built heritage.
Eden Rivers Trust believe that using nature and water in this way is powerful – it strengthens walkers’ connection to their local river environment and inspires them to take action to look after their rivers.
There will be two types of Eden River Rambles, one that meets Walking for Health criteria, comprising of gentle walks with no barriers that last around an hour, with the second offering more challenging, longer walks.
The Trust will also offer river-focused training and resources to new and existing volunteer walk leaders so that more people can experience the positive effects that doing physical activity in the natural environment can bring, such as on self-esteem, depression and reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and Type-2 diabetes.
Jenni Payne, coordinator of Eden River Rambles said: “We are absolutely thrilled that the National Lottery Heritage Fund has chosen to support Eden River Rambles. The participants who joined us on the pilot walks overwhelmingly said that they wanted the project to continue.
They enjoyed the social interaction with others, the gentle pace – meaning that no-one was left behind, and the fact that the walks were accessible to those who have may have issues with mobility and can’t get over stiles.”
Join Eden Rivers Trust for a taster ramble in Kirkby Stephen at the Westmorland Dales Day on Sunday 28th July. Meet 11.15am in the churchyard of St Stephen’s Church.
Look out for details of Eden River Rambles walks on their website, www.edenriverstrust.org.uk