How your membership helps

As a member of the Ramblers you’ll be part of an organisation which represents and campaigns for the interests of all walkers, everywhere and will be playing a vital part in protecting the places we walk as well as helping us expand our walking opportunities.

Protecting and expanding where we walk

We’re the guardians of the path network in England and Wales. If there’s a proposed diversion of a path, our volunteers check it to make sure the interests of walkers aren’t compromised or that a historic path doesn’t disappear. We also work to ensure long-used routes are put on definitive maps and that obstructions are removed. Your support enables us - if we need to - to legally challenge bad decisions or inaction from highway authorities.

But we’re also an organisation which helps. We have over eighty path maintenance teams working all over Britain in partnership with local authorities and landowners, helping improve paths, putting in new gates, bridges and steps and making sure paths don’t become too overgrown.

Over the last sixty years we’ve played a pivotal role helping secure the footpath network in England and Wales and access to most land in Scotland. We literally helped put your rights of way on the map as well as championing long distance routes like National Trails. And we’ve dramatically increased the ability of the public to access the countryside:

  • In 2000, through the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, we gained access to 865,000 hectares of land in England and Wales where the public have the freedom to roam
  • In 2003, through the Land Reform Act, we secured responsible access over most areas of land and inland water in Scotland
  • In 2009, we won the right to walk along the entire coast of England with ‘spreading room’ which gives us access, where possible, inland and to the shoreline - our volunteers are now working with Government to make this vision a reality
  • In 2012, the Wales Coast Path opened - you can now walk around the whole of the coast of Wales giving you access to some of the wildest and most dramatic landscapes in the world

But our campaigning work must continue. We need to make sure that we open up some of the 82% of private woodland that exists in England, that the walking infrastructure in Scotland means you can properly roam, that the beauty of our countryside and green spaces isn’t damaged and lost and that people can walk in urban centres close to where they live.

Working together, and with Ramblers members supporting us, we can make sure that local and national decision makers don’t limit the freedom of walking in Britain and that policies mean we have more access to walking in the future.

Promoting walking

In an age of poor health, walking is increasingly being recognised as the best way for more people to be active. We work with other organisations to deliver practical projects that encourage people to start walking for their health and wellbeing.

In England we are the national centre of Walking for Health, working in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support. Your membership will help Ramblers groups offer more walks of 3-5 miles which act as a perfect progression from schemes like Walking for Health.

Your membership also helps us organise walking festivals, like Get Walking Week, which showcase the benefits of walking to people across Britain.

Cotswold Outdoor