Walkers to put best foot forward for Festival

HUNDREDS of people are signing-up for the Scottish Borders Walking Festval being held in Hawick in September.

Walkers from as far afield as America, Holland and Turkey have made enquiries into the week-long festival (September 4-10), which now entering its 17th year is held at a different location annually. And this year’s event in Hawick has not only attracted over 300 sign-ups already, but as well as being endorsed by Scottish Borders Council and Scottish Natural Heritage, has the backing of SEStran in promoting walking for health and as a form of transporation.

The regional transport partnership organisation is sponsoring the festival. SEStran chairman Russell Imrie said: “SEStran is proud to sponsor the 2011 Scottish Borders Walking Festival. This is one of Scotland’s longest-running annual, walking events and certainly the biggest of its kind in the South East. It’s also one of the most popular, as the rate of sign-ups for the festival shows.”

He added: “Walking requires no special equipment except for a sturdy pair of shoes and a waterproof. It contributes towards improved overall fitness and health, and can also be a faster form of transportation for shorter journeys.”

Festival organiser Andrew Farquhar says he is delighted with the level of interest so far, stating: “The number of enquiries from abroad have been truly astonishing and we hope foreign visitors will see what the Borders has to offer and become ambassadors for the region. We are also hoping for a good local turnout, as many of the routes are well known local walks, popular with local residents.”

And alluding to such a positive early response, he added: “At this rate we may well be oversubscribed within a few weeks, so I would urge anyone interested to get in touch as soon as possible”.