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We have congratulated the people of Dereham in Norfolk on achieving the status of a Walkers Are Welcome town.
Dereham has joined the family of over 100 towns in England, Scotland and Wales which give an overt welcome to walkers and display the Walkers Are Welcome logo, showing that businesses are pleased to see walkers and recognise that they benefit the local economy, and that the paths are well cared for and there is public transport.
The effort was led by our member Dereham Town Council through its footpath warden Ken Hawkins who has worked tirelessly to ensure that the public paths around the town are in good order. One of the criteria for Walkers Are Welcome status is that the public paths and facilities for walkers are maintained, improved and well signed.
Says Ian Witham, our local correspondent in Norfolk who is attending the launch of the Walkers Are Welcome town on Saturday: ‘East Dereham has dominated its surrounding area since the eighteenth century, and today, with a population of over 18,000, is an important market town and urban centre. It has an interesting history: in mediaeval times there was a deer park here and the place-name means “the deer enclosure”. The large parish embraces several greens (Dumpling Green, South Green, North Green and Etling Green), and numerous public rights of way.
‘This exciting initiative should help residents and visitors alike to have the confidence to use and enjoy their local paths and green spaces, and will help to keep the paths open and in good order.’
Adds Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary and patron of the Walkers Are Welcome Towns Network: ‘Dereham’s new status as a Walkers Are Welcome town will help to encourage visitors to this attractive part of Norfolk and the town should benefit as a result. It takes a lot of work to qualify as a Walkers Are Welcome town but it is well worth the effort. We congratulate all who have been involved in this splendid achievement.’
Dereham is the fourth town in Norfolk to achieve Walkers Are Welcome status, the others being Swaffham, Aylsham and Cromer.
The launch of Dereham as a Walkers Are Welcome town will take place at 10 am on Saturday 25 June at Breckland District Council’s Dereham offices.