Across Greater Manchester, there is a clear recognition of the importance of walking to population scale change in physical activity and there is widespread understanding of the critical role of walking - for leisure, for travel and for everyday activity.

Rochdale is fortunate to have many areas of natural beauty across the borough, and walking is an ideal way to explore these greenspaces. There are many friendly, sociable group walks taking place each week that help the people of Rochdale to connect with others, discover the local parks, woods and moorland and support good health and positive wellbeing.

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Cartwheel Arts Case Story

Designed in response to COVID-19, to promote creative exploration and wellbeing whilst in lockdown or isolation. Cartwheel Arts recognised the need to still support the communities they work with and have adapted their original project idea to support individuals and their families during lockdown.

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 Walking routes   Walking groups

Community Investment Fund grants

GM Walking has given grants to nearly 90 local voluntary and community groups with the aim of getting Greater Manchester walking. They offered the grants to support a huge range of activities that encourage people who are usually less active to start or to increase the amount they regularly walk. Almost half of the successful applications were from organisations based in the most deprived 20% of the region.

They gave a total of £15,376 to nine organisations across Rochdale, including to:

  • Rochdale Field Naturalists Society to run wildlife identification walks throughout Rochdale
  • Friends of Alkrington Woods to encourage local people to use the network of paths in the woods both for exercise and active travel
  • Rochdale Hornets Sporting Foundation to create a new project encouraging socially isolated local people (particularly men) to get out walking together
  • NatureEd CIC to run walking-based activities for under-fives and their parents and carers
  • Cartwheel Arts to create a resource to encourage people to get out walking in nature and then to use this as inspiration to create artworks at home
  • PossAbilities CIC to create illustrated guides of five urban trails around Heywood
  • Blue Pits Housing Action to set up walking groups for vulnerable adults living with complex mental health conditions, learning disabilities and/or substance misuse
  • The Burnside Centre to set up, develop and expand a new walking group for Langley residents who are over 50
  • Link4Life to run community-led walks throughout Rochdale for adults with long-term health conditions