A Message from Julia Bradbury

Country File regular and president of The Ramblers, Julia Bradbury, has lent her support to the Chesham Walkers Are Welcome campaign.

In response to an invitation to the WaW launch day, Julia sent the following message:

"Dear Chesham Walkers are Welcome

Thank you for your request to help launch the 'Chesham Walkers Are Welcome' which I sadly cannot attend in person because of my filming schedule. At the moment I am trying to juggle four different series for the BBC (including Countryfile, some new walks, Secret Britain and a food programme) which is an almost impossible task combined with any sort of family life! but I'd like to send this letter of support which I hope you can read out:

It gives me the greatest delight to welcome Chesham as one of the newest recruits to the ever-growing Walkers Are Welcome family. It’s a real cause for celebration, that one more enlightened town is really reaching out to get people on their feet and explore all this beautiful country has to offer.

The Walkers Are Welcome Scheme is a truly innovative project. It’s such a simple concept; set up an accreditation scheme for walk-friendly towns, then encourage the towns to network together for support, advice and ideas.

That simplicity has led to jaw dropping success; 47 towns and villages have signed up to the scheme in just three years. This is partly due to the unique grass-roots way that the scheme is proposed, then set up, in the towns – it involves all the local community and leads, of course, to the community really engaging and welcoming the walkers that they attract as a consequence. More broadly, it shows that people genuinely love welcoming walkers to their ‘homes’; to show off what lies on their back doorstep, to share the pleasures people themselves feel from walking, and also because walkers make the perfect guests!

Chesham, set in the mouthwatering, quintessentially English Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is right to be proud of its walking heritage. Chesham’s achievement in becoming a Walkers are Welcome town is doubly valuable, as it is well placed to help attract city folk out of London and into the countryside, too.

Walking is just about the healthiest, accessible and most fun activity there is. Chesham deserves full congratulations for encouraging as many people as possible – from hardy hikers to newer walkers – to love walking too.

Julia Bradbury
President of the Ramblers "