The first-ever Scottish Walking Awards will showcase a broad range of inspiring walking projects – from businesses, councils, land managers and housing associations to the journalists, staff and local volunteers who inspire others to step out.
The Scottish Walking Awards opened for nominations on 4 February and feature ten categories to celebrate the wide range of initiatives underway to get people moving more in Scotland.
Together with our partners Ramblers Scotland and Living Streets Scotland, and in conjunction with the National Walking Strategy Delivery Forum, we are organising these new awards.
The awards are open to nominations from all regions of Scotland and all sections of society, including projects supporting people who use wheelchairs and other mobility aids.
Anyone can make a nomination using the simple online form before 31 March. The winners will be selected by an expert judging panel in April and announced on 11 May during National Walking Month.
The Minister for Public Health and Sport, Mairi Gougeon is supportive of the new awards. She said:
Over the past year we have seen how important walking and wheeling is to the people of Scotland. With thanks to the many inspiring projects within our communities, people have rediscovered their local areas while keeping active during challenging times.
I’m pleased to support Ramblers Scotland, Paths for All and Living Streets Scotland with the first Scottish Walking Awards to celebrate the people and places that are helping us to keep walking and enjoy the benefits of being active.
Paths for All Chief Officer, Ian Findlay CBE is enthusiastic about the new awards, stating:
I would encourage all walking and wheeling projects to make nominations in the Scottish Walking Awards 2021. Collectively, we can showcase the transformative role walking plays in reducing health inequalities, lowering carbon emissions, and improving the environment.
The ability to get out walking during the current lockdown is proving to be a lifesaver for many people’s mental wellbeing, social connections, and physical health, including my own.
I want more people to benefit from an improved walking and wheeling environment. For that to happen, we need to demonstrate the outstanding work that is currently taking place.
Ramblers Scotland director Brendan Paddy said:
“Walking has the power to help create a healthier and happier nation, particularly as we respond to the urgent Covid-19 and climate crises."
“There’s never been a better time to showcase the amazing communities and projects whose tireless work is opening the way for more people to enjoy the many benefits of walking.”
Living Streets Scotland director Stuart Hay said:
“Over the last twelve months, we’ve seen more and more people start walking more and start new projects in their communities to help everyone stay active. We want to celebrate these projects and the vitally important role of walking for health, wellbeing, and essential everyday journeys."
“This is particularly important in light of the impact of Covid-19 and leading up to COP 26 later this year. Scotland can lead the way in celebrating everyday walking and we’re looking forward to celebrating all the fantastic work that’s going on all over the country.”
Find out more about the award categories on our website.