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Elephant & Castle Walking Challenge launched

Southwark Council and Living Streets have launched an Autumn Walking Challenge in and around Elephant & Castle.

Legible London free maps
These free maps are being distributed this week around Elephant & Castle

The challenge, which runs until 4 November, is designed to encourage people to explore their neighbourhood as well as promoting the benefits of physical exercise.

Although focused on Elephant & Castle area the walking challenge is open to all those living, working or simply travelling through Southwark.

Participants log their journeys on the website at www.livingstreetschallenge.org.uk/Southwark to monitor the miles walked, calories burned and CO2 saved.

Stories and photos can also be shared on the web. Participants can earn extra points by visiting famous Southwark landmarks and uploading photographs to prove that they've been there.

"Many of us rush between home and work and back again without taking the time to really appreciate our surroundings or enjoy the range of great shops, museums or cafes we pass every day," said Cllr Veronica Ward, Southwark's cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport.

"With this new initiative participants are able to take in all Southwark has to offer as well as reap the healthy benefits of physical exercise. Remember it's not necessarily how far you walk that matters but rather taking part in the challenge as best you can."

On Monday those passing through Elephant & Castle were handed copies of a new map of walking routes published by Transport for London and Southwark Council. Copies are also available at the Cuming Museum in Walworth Road.

"Walking around your local neighbourhood is an easy first step towards a more active lifestyle," said Tony Armstrong, chief executive of Living Streets.

"The simple calculators on our website can monitor how far you've walked, how much energy you've burned off and help you to gradually increase the distance of your walks and your fitness levels."

The organisation's local branch – Southwark Living Streets – is also supporting the initiative.

"As a Southwark resident I'm proud of the borough I live in," said chairman Jeremy Leach.

"If your impression of Elephant & Castle was all concrete, cars and subways, this is the challenge for you!

"Using the free maps Living Streets are distributing this week, you'll be able to get to know the beautiful architecture, heritage and fantastic open spaces that are right on our doorstep."

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