WALKING around Whitchurch is about to get easier with routes further away being accessible by bus under a new scheme.

Walkers are Welcome (WaW) and the Whitchurch Association (WA) have partnered with Stagecoach to help publicise walkable routes with leaflets to get people walking in the area.

The idea is that walkers can hop on a bus and amble, stroll, or walk back to where they started in Whitchurch.

The leaflets detail walks from nearby places such as Overton and Andover Down, with more walks to be added.

On October 24, members of WaW and the WA gathered at Whitchurch Town Hall for the launch.

Stagecoach has provided a grant of £250 to produce the leaflets that show where the walks are, which buses to catch and the way back.

These will be available around the town and should soon be available on the number 76 bus, which is one of the main routes involved in the scheme.

Town mayor and councillor John Buckley said at the launch: “We have one of the best towns in the country here in Whitchurch, and definitely the best Whitchurch. This is a wonderful addition to the town, and there is everything that a walker could need here.”

Special thanks were given at the launch to volunteer walk leader at WaW Charmaine Hoey, who helped to map the routes.

Denyse Coles, chair of the WA, said: “This really is a win-win for Whitchurch, more people will be coming in to use the walks, and using the local shops, giving them a boost. We’ve got plans to add more routes as time goes on, in addition to the two that are currently available. We would also like to thank Stagecoach for helping us to do this.”

Both Melanie Keylock, Stagecoach’s operation manager in Andover, and Stacey Churton, marketing manager, attended the launch.

Stacey said: “We are thrilled to be supporting the walking scheme, it is great for both of us as it gets more people to visit, as well as using the bus.”

New Whitchurch resident Melanie added: “I’m really excited to try the walks out, I’m really glad to be a part of it. Whitchurch has fields and rivers, and it is rural, but not too far from somewhere like Basingstoke and Andover.”

Visit whitchurch.org.uk for more routes to walk.