Swaffham has become the first town in East Anglia to gain accreditation to the Walkers and Welcome scheme, a month before its cycling and walking festival.

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The bid to become one of more than 80 towns across the UK in the project was backed by many local businesses and the town council, and aims to let walkers know footpaths in the area are well maintained.

Town leaders hope membership of the scheme, which has been running for three years and describes itself as a bottom-up scheme promoted by communities themselves, will help boost tourism.

Kate Francis, projects development officer for the Iceni partnership in Swaffham, said: “We are delighted to be the first town in the region to be accredited, and we hope that Swaffham will become a base for walkers exploring our lovely countryside in the Brecks.”

The cycling and walking festival will start with a bike and walk to school day on Friday June 1, and conclude with a family cycle ride on Sunday June 10.

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