MP Jonathan Reynolds is backing an initiative to get more people out and about on local paths and bridle ways.
Walking is a pastime enjoyed by thousands of people across the country. And Tameside - positioned next to the Peak District and the Pennines - has a network of walks and trails, for those of all abilities.
Until now there hasn't been a branch of the Ramblers' Association in Tameside, which means walkers have to join associations in neighbouring Oldham or Stockport instead. But now a group of keen walkers – led by Stewart Ramsden, from Hyde - are setting up a local branch for the first time.
They hope the move will make it easier for ramblers in Tameside to take part in organised walks and to meet up with others with similar interests. And on Friday they took a break from a walk on the canal paths around Hyde to tell Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds about their plans.
After joining them on a short stretch of their walk, Mr Reynolds said: "Rambling is a sociable, relaxing and healthy way to spend a couple of hours - and with the Peak District and the Pennines on our doorstep - in Tameside we are perfectly placed for it.
"Stewart and his fellow walkers are clearly strong advocates for this project. I was delighted to hear about their plans and wish them well.
"I hope the launch of Tameside Ramblers will encourage even more people to take advantage of the beautiful countryside around us."
Stewart started to walk recreationally more than 40 years ago. He has walked all over the world - including in The Alps, the Himalayas, the Arctic Circle and the High Atlas Mountains. And he has recently led walks around Manchester and Salford, as part of a project to encourage rambling in the region.
At the start of the year he led more than 50 people on a walk around Tameside to launch the application to the Ramblers Association to form Tameside Ramblers.
Within the next few weeks the new organisation should be formally recognised.
More information about Tameside Ramblers can be obtained by calling Stewart Ramsden on 0161 366 1740 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. A
lternatively there is information about a number of walks and trails around the area that can be found atwww.tameside.gov.uk/countryside/walksandtrails
Published 4 March, 2013