DOZENS of walkers hit the waggon trail to local history in South Tyneside this week.
As part of Get Walking Week 2013, people gathered at Hebburn Library before setting off along the old waggonways and waterways, which once linked the coal staithes at the Tyne to Bowes and Tanfield in County Durham.
The healthy stroll was led by members of Walking Works Wonders, a volunteer-led scheme supported by borough-based charity Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle and South Tyneside Council public health fund.
The overall aim is to boost health and improve the local environment.
The 5.2 mile walk was in support of he new Heritage Lottery-funded project, Waggonways and Waterways, which was awarded to Groundwork, to develop walking routes rich in local history.
Project officer Yvette Martin said: “The project is a fantastic new opportunity for local people to get out in their green spaces and help develop a brand new walking route which will be available for everyone.
“There are many ways to get involved, from volunteering to do some access pruning along the routes to planting bulbs, to researching local history for the information boards.”
This week’s inaugural walk, part of a two-year project, saw people following the Tyne river route from Hebburn to Bill Quay and beyond.
The scheme will also help the 11 local groups involved in Walking Works Wonders to improve their health, socialise and meet new people.
One local walker said: “I like going on the walks because it keeps me fit and healthy, and has helped me meet lots of new friends.”
The walks, which are free and available to everyone, normally last an hour, and refreshments are available at the end.
To get involved, call Groundwork green exercise project officer Janine Dormand on 428 1144 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org