Help needed to get Rasen walking again

With its position as a gateway to the Lincolnshire Wolds, Market Rasen is a great base for walking and cycling – but it is something that needs to be shouted about.

Mike Eckersley, left,being congratulated by Lincolnshire Ramblers honorary secretary Stuart Parker back in 2011 as Market Rasen became a Walkers Are Welcome town. EMN-210622-104335001
Mike Eckersley, left,being congratulated by Lincolnshire Ramblers honorary secretary Stuart Parker back in 2011 as Market Rasen became a Walkers Are Welcome town. EMN-210622-104335001

That is the view of the town’s community partnership group, which is looking at ways to help boost the local economy by marketing the town in this way.

A Facebook page – Market Rasen Walkers & Cyclists are Welcome – has been set up and already has more than 200 followers.

The next step is to help resurrect the official Walkers are Welcome Group – but that can’t be done unless people come forward who are willing to ‘take the lead’.

Chairman of the partnership group and local councillor, Stephen Bunney said: “We are looking for keen walkers to help drive this initiative forward.

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“The partnership has been doing some ground work, but we are a small group who are working to help the area recover post-covid and we need to get volunteers on board to make these projects sustainable.”

Local businesswoman, Nicola Brooksbank, is keen to make the project work.

Having set up the Facebook page, she is also liaising with the Walkers are Welcome team to get the Market Rasen group re-accredited.

She said: “We know the town is popular with walkers and there are great routes and trails just five minutes stroll from the town centre.

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“We are linking up with groups and linking into the county’s tourism sites to get all the information we can to help people make the most of the surrounding countryside.

“But we need someone to carry this work on.

“We will be there to support in any way we can, so it would be great to hear from anyone who would like to find out more of what would be involved.”

Nicola continued: “We know there are already walking groups in the town – either linked to The Ramblers or to community organisations – maybe there is someone there who would be willing to co-ordinate things.

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“We also have a couple of fantastic cycling groups.”

Walking and cycling has, of course, become even more popular over the last year or so.

With travel restrictions in place, people have been getting out and about rediscovering the areas nearer to home.

The Slow Ways project is looking at using existing footpaths to help people walk between neighbouring settlements or combine routes for long distance journeys – and it is hoped the Rasen area can feed into this too.

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Nicola added: “Showcasing what out town has to offer will be a big boost for everyone.”

•To find out how to get involved email [email protected]

Walkers are Welcome is a nationwide initiative launched in 2007. It has enabled more than 100 accredited towns and villages to assist with their communities’ economic, physical, health and mental well-being through walking.
The Market Rasen Walkers are Welcome Group launched in May 2011, when it became the first community in Lincolnshire to be accredited to the scheme.
There are now only two accredited groups in Lincolnshire – Horncastle and Spilsby & Hundleby.

Find out more at: walkersarewelcome.org.uk/