I’m a keen dog walker but I am trying something a bit more energetic as well.

I’ve joined a running group, or more specifically the Stroud District Council Beginners Running Group for councillors and staff.

We head out twice a week, with the intention of getting up to a level where we can run for half an hour non-stop.

One of the council’s five main visions in its Corporate Delivery Plan is to promote health and well being, and the new group is a good illustration of that.

We have our leisure centres, The Pulse in Dursley and Stratford Park Leisure Centre in Stroud, but we live in a beautiful district and there are many opportunities to get active outside, free-of-charge too including open spaces like the canal corridor.

Our runs so far have taken in the Stroudwater Canal corridor, and Stroud District Council is a lead partner in the Cotswold Canals Connected project to link the six mile section of restored canal with the national inland waterways network.

As a Dursley resident, I was really pleased to see that Rednock School sixth form geography and sociology students have been given the opportunity of working with the Stroud District Council planning department.

This was launched with two recent seminars deliberating on how the local area might change in the future to meet housing and employment needs.

Students are in the process of holding a series of focus groups with the younger students to garner their views across a range of issues before feeding back their findings to SDC.

Many thanks to Helen Johnstone, a former Rednock member of staff, for inviting us to be part of this project.