‘Walkers are Welcome’ is a national organisation with over 100 accredited Walkers are Welcome towns and villages. For Shepton Mallet to become a Walkers are Welcome town we need to show that people in the town and parish support it. To do that, we need 1100 signatures.

Why should Shepton Mallet join?

We want all walkers – from all parts of our town and further afield – to feel welcome. Walking has been the salvation of many people over the last year, giving us a sense of wellbeing during difficult times.

Shepton Mallet is perfectly positioned to explore the countryside around us, nestled at the gateway to the Mendip hills, an area of outstanding natural beauty criss-crossed with trails, footpaths and the remains of ancient and medieval industry and old mine workings.

By making walkers feel welcome in our town we help our local economy and community – bringing walkers and visitors to our cafes, restaurants, shops, B&Bs and hotels, and other visitor attractions, and promoting the benefits of physical, health and mental wellbeing through walking.

A Shepton Walks volunteer said: “There are so many benefits for the town and the local community in promoting Shepton as a centre for walking and walkers. Becoming a Walkers are Welcome town will help us to promote the continuing health and wellbeing benefits of walking. It gives local people and visitors the opportunity to learn about the culture, history, heritage and biodiversity of Shepton Mallet and surrounding countryside. We hope it will bring a sustained

boost to local businesses too, especially the cafes, restaurants, hotels, B&Bs, holiday cottages and the shops in the town centre.”

She added: “We’re on the lookout for volunteers to help us too – walkers, ramblers, hikers, dog walkers, keen walking families. Once we become full members there’ll be lots of opportunities to get involved in supporting and promoting Shepton Walks. If people are interested they can contact us through the website. We look forward to welcoming them!”

Over the coming weeks and months volunteers will be attending events across the town to talk to people and encourage them to sign. They’ll be visiting businesses in the town to ask them to sign the petition and actively support their staff, customers and visitors to do the same. The only caveat from the national Walkers are Welcome organisation is that the 1100 signatures have to be from people who live in the town or a nearby parish.

For people unable to sign a hard copy of the petition Shepton Walks is launching an online petition https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/shepton-mallet-walkers-are-welcome

More detailed information about the benefits to Shepton Mallet of becoming a Walkers are Welcome town can be found here: https://sheptonmallet-tc.gov.uk/shepton-walks/