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Campaign group gets walking on the agenda at Holyrood

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First ever debate on walking takes place today

Scottish politicians will come together to discuss the benefits of walking in what is Holyrood’s first ever debate on the activity.

Coming six months after COP26, MSPs are paving the way for a healthier future by coming together to discuss how walking can improve public health and strengthen communities across the country.

The cross-party debate will take place today (4 May) – coinciding with the start of National Walking Month.

Maree Todd, minister for public health, women's health and sport, will be opening the debate with Patrick Harvie of the Scottish Green Party closing the discussion.

National walking charity, Paths for All, will lead on creating an updated National Walking Strategy with the Scottish Government later this year and has welcomed the news of the parliamentary debate.

Kevin Lafferty, chief executive of Paths for All said: “This is a milestone moment for the country.

“It’s encouraging to see walking high on the agenda for politicians and with this type of political recognition, great progress can be made.

“Walking can impact and influence so many aspects of Scottish life. The environment, economy and health of the nation can continue to improve by proactively encouraging walking.

“As we tackle a cost-of-living crisis and continue to see the pressure ramp up on our NHS;

Promotion of walking is a preventative approach which can reduce instance of disease and health problems of the population, in turn decreasing demand on our health services.

With previous topics like active travel being discussed in parliament, this marks the first debate exclusively devoted to walking at the Scottish Parliament.

Scotland has been a pioneer surrounding the topic of walking and was one of the first countries to create a National Walking Strategy in 2014.

Lafferty added: “It’s brilliant to see walking’s validation grow in the eyes of our policy makers. And we hope the topics discussed today will highlight the positive strides Scotland has taken in making walking more accessible for all, as well as identifying areas in which we can improve.

“We, at Paths for All, are looking forward to assisting the government in making walking as easy and as accessible as possible - in turn creating a healthier, greener Scotland.”



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