New management of the health scheme should make no difference to participants.

IT is best foot forward as usual in South Molton as the Walking for Health Scheme comes under new management from the start of this month.

In what is expected to mirror similar accredited Walking for Health groups across North Devon, co-ordinator James Isherwood of South Molton Striders said there would be no change as The Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support take over the national scheme.

There are now more than 75,000 taking part in health walk schemes across England and the initiative has proved a popular one in North Devon.

“Our friends who presently walk with us and any new walkers who wish to join us should not see any change in the way we operate,” said Mr Isherwood.

“Our new programme of walks is now available in the usual outlets in South Molton and started on April 1 to take us through to the end of June

“Striders is still an Accredited Health Walk Scheme, volunteer leaders will still guide walks in a professional and friendly manner and will remain fully insured as before, so health professionals can rest assured they can still refer patients to us for gentle walking exercise.”

The central support services for the scheme had previously been run by Natural England before the tender was awarded to the new managers. To find out more about the scheme, go to www.walkingforhealth.org.uk or www.ramblers.org.uk/walkingforhealth.