NEWTOWN residents are being urged to vote in the very first Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood Award, before it closes on Wednesday March 14.

Newtown is one of ten areas to make it to the final public vote in the new award, which celebrates the places that put urban walkers first.

Geoff Beilby of community group, Walking Newtown, nominated his town for the award. He said: “We are really proud of the way the community and town council work together to make Newtown an attractive and welcoming place for residents and visitors. Our parks and green spaces are one of the jewels in Newtown’s crown and are popular places to enjoy the peace or chat with friends.

“Our community group, Walking Newtown, have devised some lovely circular walks that make the most of green spaces in the town, as well as longer routes which enjoy views over the town and explore Newtown’s heritage and natural beauty, connecting with longer walks and National Trails if local walkers really catch the walking bug and want to explore further afield.”

Newtown has made it to the final shortlist thanks to its pedestrian-friendly design, which makes walking the easy option. Two footbridges across the River Severn and the off road walking routes are used by many residents to take children to school, reach the town centre, or to catch the bus or train to other places. The beautiful hills surrounding Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn are also easy to reach via an extensive network of routes. A highlight for walker is the Severn Way, a long distance route which passes through the town.

Newtown Mayor, Cllr Sue Newham, said: “It’s really great that we have been shortlisted and are the only one in Wales.

“To be shortlisted you’re judged on whether people can walk on these routes within the town, whether they are mapped, if there are toilets on the route.

“This is a great accolade for Newtown, please publicise it as much as we can.

“We are the smallest town in this, if we can get people around the county and country supporting us, we may be able to capitalise on the enthusiasm to support Wales."

Chief executive of the Ramblers, Vanessa Griffiths, said: "The ten neighbourhoods shortlisted for our award have been designed or improved to prioritise people on foot.

"We’re celebrating these areas, and asking more local authorities to think about how they could make small changes in design to improve walkability, to help improve the health and wellbeing of residents."

To vote visit