1 May 2017

May is the month to stride out in your community. As Living Streets celebrate their National Walking Month by asking people to try and take a 20 minute walk through their local streets each day, the Eden Project Communities’ Great Big Walk is gearing up for a 10+ mile daily walk through the UK’s communities.

A woman's feet in sneakers walking in the country.

Walking is a free and flexible way to keep fit, but strolling round the streets also allows you to explore your local area and keep your community active. Walking increases your metabolism, improves your blood pressure, and releases endorphins to make you feel brighter. Considering the health benefits, along with the opportunity to discover new places, people, and projects in your local area, you may well decide that 20 minutes a day is not enough!

In fact, some people are walking up an appetite on a Great Big Walk in the lead up to this year’s Big Lunch. On the 28th May, as National Walking Month draws to an end, teams of walkers will set off in five different directions from Batley in West Yorkshire, to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Cornwall, and London – on foot. Each team will walk together to cover the 300+ miles home, back to their communities, in time for The Big Lunch. Small steps can make a big difference, so The Great Big Walk is going the extra mile to bring people together in the lead up to the biggest community celebration the UK has ever seen.

We’re not expecting you to commit to a walk this long, but everyone has 20 minutes a day to dedicate to health and happiness — particularly as walking can easily slide into step with your daily routine.  Whether it’s walking to work, strolling to school (Walk to School Week is 15 – 19 May), toddling into town or simply pacing the park, being present on your local streets means you are at the heart of your local community. Join in the discussion online by using #Try20 on Twitter, to share how walkable your streets are as part of a wider network, too.

As we take 20 minutes each day to explore our streets and get to know our local communities, the teams of walkers will be doing the same on a much larger scale. Positive connections happen when we take the time to walk and talk together, and this really is an example of going the extra mile! Along the route, the walkers will quite literally connect communities by stopping off along the way to shine a light on ordinary people doing extraordinary things through amazing projects and events that bring communities together. The Great Big Walk will reinforce the commonality we all share as it connects communities and highlights the rich diversity of the UK

By the time The Big Lunch rolls around on 18 June, you’ll not only be grounded in your local community but you’ll have earnt a really BIG Lunch! And if you’ve not yet signed up to The Big Lunch, why not get involved — you could invite the local people you’ve met on your 20 minute walks to your very own Big Lunch, and celebrate feeling healthier within your community. People are the key ingredient when it comes to community spirit – and we all need to feed ours.

To kick-start National Walking Month, make sure you check out the Living Streets’ website for tips on how to spice up your walking.