Lace up boots and go back to ‘routes’

l-r Mabel Campbell (Bradkeel Social Farm) , Mayor Elisha McCallion, Lawrence McDaid (Far and Wild), Gordon Spears (Killeter and District Development Trust), Annie Mullan (Butterlope farm) with her son Dan.

l-r Mabel Campbell (Bradkeel Social Farm) , Mayor Elisha McCallion, Lawrence McDaid (Far and Wild), Gordon Spears (Killeter and District Development Trust), Annie Mullan (Butterlope farm) with her son Dan.

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Local people are being encouraged to get their walking boots on and discover the local rural hinterland at the Sperrins & Killeter Walking Festival.

A number of new walks for all ages have been planned for the festival, which takes place on Saturday September 12 in Glenelly, and Sunday September 13 in Killeter.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Councillor Elisha McCallion, said: “The Walking Festival offers the perfect excuse to explore our local natural environment and find out more about the regions.

“I would encourage everyone to take part.”

Adventure company Far and Wild is co-ordinating the festival walks, and speaking ahead of the event, Director Lawrence McBride said: “We have worked with local communities in rural Derry and Strabane to come up with some great routes and new ideas this year.

“This year in Glenelly we have a fascinating ‘Bat-Moth Twilight Walk’ along the Bradkeel Forest trail for families, a ‘Traditions of the Sperrins’ route through the Barnes area for moderate walkers (including a scone-bread making demonstration), and an exploration of the Ulster Appalachian Way for the more experienced.

“In Killeter local guides lead an easy village-based Spiritual Traditions Walk exploring the history of each local religious congregation, while moderate walkers will have the opportunity to capture some of the unique features of the lakes and peatlands of Killeter during the Photographing Ecology Walk.

“Our big route we are calling the ‘Killeter Camino’, tracing the pilgrim routes and early settlements of the Tyrone and Donegal border.”

Costs are £5 per walk. To register, go to www.sperrinskilleterwalking.com or Facebook at /sperrinskilleterwalking.