AN ALLOA pensioner has hailed the impact that regular walks have played in his recovery from a serious lung condition.

Kelly Sagar was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis last year and, after being released from hospital, found he could only walk the length of his living room.

Since leaving hospital, he has managed to build up his strength to such an extent that he has been able to come off steroid treatment for his condition.

As part of Path for All's National Walking Month campaign, the 72-year-old credits his recovery to regular local walks.

He said: "Since retiring as a maintenance engineer in 2009, walking became my main hobby with unrivalled physical and mental health benefits.

"Following my diagnosis, walking now plays an even bigger role in my life – which I never thought was possible.

"I started walking with the Wee County Walkers group which is a local health walk group in the area and it increased my enjoyment even more.

"It has given me a chance to share my love of the activity with others while finding new routes and socialising."

Kelly went on to become one of the first leaders of Wee County Walkers, a group established in 2010 which attracts around 40-50 people each week.

The idea was to provide opportunities for people in Clackmannanshire who are feeling isolated or lonely to explore the area and socialise.

Kelly added: "One of my favourite walks is around the Black Devon Wetlands between Alloa and Clackmannan.

"The walk is in beautiful setting, and away from cars, so it's a very peaceful route where you can just enjoy being out in the fresh air and lose yourself in the scenery."

Paths for All aims to promote walking and wheeling champions for the rest of year outside of National Walking Month and is encouraging people to share their story to inspire more people to walk or wheel.

Kevin Lafferty, CEO of Paths for All, said: "Kelly's commitment to the Wee County Walkers is fantastic and his passion towards walking locally plays an important part in showcasing that you don't have to go to popular hotspots in Scotland to enjoy it and experience scenic routes.

"Walking can bring a magnitude of benefits. Not only can it have instrumental improvements to an individual's health like it has with Kelly, but it also provides an opportunity to get to know local areas better, help make new social connections and positively impact the environment."