SEVERAL walking groups are up and running across East Renfrewshire for those who would like to enjoy the great outdoors.

Run by East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership, the walks are free and seen as the ideal way to improve fitness.

On Mondays, the First Steps group sets off from Whole Foods, in Giffnock, at 10am. These walks are designed for beginners and last 30 to 40 minutes.

There is also a walk for beginners that sets off from The Bank, in Neilston, at 10.30am on Mondays.

On Tuesdays, you can head to Eastwood Park for First Steps from 9.30am or go along to the Barrhead Foundry to join the Barrhead Walking Group from 9.45am. This is a longer walk, at a moderate pace.

At St Johns Tea Room there is a First Steps and strength balance exercise class and at Cowan Park, from 10am, there is a beginners 30 minutes walk with free refreshments available at St Johns Tea Room afterwards.

The Neilston Walkers are in action on Wednesdays, setting off from The Bank at 10am for a longer walk through the countryside.

While there is also a 10am walk from Dams to Darnley Health Walk from 10am. Group meets at World Buffet Car Park. This walk generally takes two hours and is led by Dams to Darnley Rangers.

There is also a walk within Rouken Glen Park every Wednesday, starting at 10.30am, which is designed for beginners or people recovering from injury or illness.

And at 10.30am on Fridays, The Arc, in Barrhead, is the venue for the Stepping Out group, which offers gentle exercise.

To find details of a walk near you, e-mail or call 0789 480 2349.