A RUNNING club has recently celebrated its first anniversary, and is encouraging runners of all abilities to join.

Shrewton Running Club was established in February 2016, and originally started off as a "mere idea" and an informal group run.

Throughout the year, word of the group spread, and on one occasion there were between 30-40 runners.

But although surprised at the attendance levels, the club's chairman Nick Sage said many people are nervous about running.

He said: "We have a mixture of people who are regular runners, but many people do not join because they think they will need to be up at the same fitness levels as others.

"It is one of those sports where you can be put off very easily, but if you know how to tackle it you will stick with it for longer."

With Shrewton located on Salisbury Plain, the routes taken by the club cover some of Wiltshire's prettiest scenery, but runners are encouraged to stay away from the red flags, and army ranges.

These can all be avoided according to Mr Sage, with some of the members knowing all the accessible paths.

He said: "It is surprising the places you can get to, and there is a huge amount of the plain that you can explore.

"I have lived here for more than 20 years and I am still discovering new areas."

Mr Sage added that there were further benefits to the group than the running itself, with some runners using it as an opportunity to make new friends in the community.

He also gave some key tips to those starting out.

"It is about small steps and not doing more than you can manage. You need to recognise the limitations of your abilities.

"You are not going to be running a marathon in a short space of time, and my advice to any new runners is that it will come, but take it steady."

Shrewton Running Club hosts two group runs, with a 5K event on Wednesday's from 6.30pm, and a longer 10K every Sunday morning.

For more information call Nick on 07795 567927.