Epsom and Ewell Borough Council (EEBC) announced a free 12-week social walks programme in the borough.

The programme was launched on Friday (May 17) under the tagline 'diabetes social walks' and aims to tackle the prevalence of diabetes in the area as well as promoting healthy living more generally.

It follows similar initiatives by other borough councils in the region such as Mole Valley District Council (MVDC)'s Leatherhead Diabetes Walk and Talk.

A spokesperson for EEBC offered further details on what the programme of walks would entail: "The walks will be led by an experienced and friendly walk leader, who is insured and first aid trained.

"The group will meet for 12 weeks and participants will need to be able to commit to two walks a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 28 May until 20 August.

"The local scenic walks will be gentle and will last for up to 50 minutes with regular breaks," the spokesperson said.

EEBC added that, in aiming to combat diabetes in the borough, participants in the programme will be offered monitoring of their weight and blood pressure with the aim of increasing awareness about how these are related to diabetes.

EEBC said: "The aim of the diabetes walks is to offer participants an opportunity to get healthier and fitter with a social and friendly activity that improves their wellbeing.

"Participants weight and blood pressure will be measured at weeks 1 and 12 so they can find out their progress over the course of the programme."

According to Diabetes UK, the disease is "a serious medical condition where one's blood glucose level is too high. There are two main types, Type 1 and Type 2. They're different conditions, but they’re both serious."

Statistics released by the British charity in February showed that one in ten over 40s have Type 2 diabetes, while the number of people living with all types of diabetes has reached 4.7 million in the UK.

The number of people affected by diabetes in Britain is expected to reach 5.5 million by 2030.

For more information about the social walks programme, visit the Walks section at www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk or follow @EpsomEwellBC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates.