National Walking Strategy – for health and environment

SNH walking strategy feb 2017We all know there are significant health and economic gains from getting people to become active, and the easiest and cheapest way for individuals to achieve this is by increasing walking.

I am very pleased to discuss how I can help with this issue with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) as they held an exhibition on the issue in the Scottish Parliament last week.

The National Walking Strategy (NWS) aims to raise the status of walking across urban and rural areas of Scotland. This will include focusing on the needs of pedestrian and walker’s policy, planning and implementation.  As the MSP for South Scotland, I know that the region has many urban and rural areas that people can go and enjoy, whether it’s to walk, camp or even a family day out.

As well as health improvements, there are a number of environmental benefits to active travel, one of them being that it will reduce climate change. If more people walk than use their car, this will help reduce emissions from road transport and improve air quality.

As the Spokesperson for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, I know there is still a lot of work to be done to encourage more people to walk such as making sure that everyone can enjoy the health benefits of walking through the prevision of good quality, well connected and accessible path networks and greenspaces.

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