Councils help fund walking festival

A BORDERS walking festival has attracted sponsorship from a local government partnership.

SEStran – South East of Scotland Transport Partnership of eight local councils – is backing the Scottish Borders Walking Festival.

A partnership spokesman said: “SEStran is sponsoring the festival as part of its commitment to encouraging sustainable forms of transportation; including walking, for public health and to reduce traffic congestion and car dependency.”

This year’s week-long event, at the beginning of September, is based in Hawick.

More than 300 people have signed up to take part with enquiries from as far afield as America, Holland and Turkey.

SEStran chairman Russell Imrie said the partnership was proud to sponsor the event, adding: “Walking requires no special equipment except for a sturdy pair of shoes and a waterproof. It contributes towards improved overall fitness and health”

Festival organiser Andrew Farquhar said: “We are very pleased with the level of interest so far. The number of enquiries from abroad has been truly astonishing and we hope foreign visitors will see what the Borders have to offer and become ambassadors for the region back home.

“We are also hoping for a good local turnout, as many of the routes are popular with local residents”.

“At this rate, we may well be oversubscribed within a few weeks, so I would urge anyone who might be interested to get in touch as soon as possible”.

The festival is also supported by Scottish Borders Council and Scottish Natural Heritage.