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The Falkirk area is officially the best place for a walk in the UK after it picked up a national award for the ‘best walking neighbourhood’ at a prestigious ceremony held in the Houses of Parliament this evening (10 July).

A public vote organised by charity Ramblers saw the work of Falkirk Council and its partners in helping to develop and maintain its path network stretching 383 miles locally rewarded with the country’s top accolade for walking.

The award had nine other locations across the UK shortlisted but a public competition saw Falkirk scoop 20% of all votes cast making it the winning area.

Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council said: “This is a fabulous award for the Falkirk area and being voted Britain’s best walking neighbourhood is an amazing achievement. We have some great areas to explore locally and with nearly 400 miles of paths on our doorstep, visitors and residents are not short of some great locations to enjoy. We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for Falkirk and made us number one in the UK.”

Vanessa Griffiths, chief executive of the Ramblers, said: “Walkable neighbourhoods bring not only the physical and mental health benefits of walking and being able to access green space; places where people walk regularly also have more connected communities. Making it easy to choose walking over driving helps to reduce congestion and improve air quality too.”

Wraight Shepherd, chair of Stirling, Falkirk & District Ramblers, nominated Falkirk for the award. He said: “We are really proud that Falkirk has won the Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood Award. It’s a testament to the commitment of the Council working together with local communities that Falkirk has been transformed in recent years into a place that is enjoyable and easy to walk around, building a real culture of walking.”

The Ramblers Best Walking Neighbourhood Award, now in its second year, celebrates the best of everyday walking; neighbourhoods where local authorities and community groups have improved local streets and routes for walking and with good access to green space. The south London neighbourhood of Brockley took second place, while third Milton Keynes came in third in the public vote.

You can find out more about walking neighbourhoods on the Ramblers website. You can also download some great local walking guides on the Council’s website.