Five free ways you can fight for the outdoors in 2023
So, you started the year with high hopes for spending more time outdoors while also making a difference (on top of learning a new instrument, being more organised, and reading more of the classics…).
But the resolutions are starting to hit a hurdle and you need some wins. Here are five free ways you can make a difference with the Ramblers:
1. Tell your MP you want the freedom to roam expanded
Did you know that you only have freedom to roam across about 8% of land in England? Everywhere else, you have to stick closely to paths and make sure you don’t stray too far into wide open spaces.
Right now, we’re campaigning for the freedom to roam to be expanded so it’s possible to walk freely across woodland, watersides, and more grassland. This would have a huge impact. Woodland alone would more than double the coverage of the freedom to roam in England
You can support our call for the expansion of freedom to roam by writing to your MP. The 8% access we have in England only exists because campaigners like you stood up and told the government ordinary people shouldn’t be locked out of so much of our land. We can do it again.
(We've even drafted it for you).
2. Get Britain’s paths on the map!
Our paths, tracks and trails are some of our most precious assets in Britain. They deserve to be protected and we want everyone to be able to enjoy them.
We have two great mapping projects we would love your help with:
Research lost paths in England and Wales with Don’t Lose Your Way
Over the past two years, thousands of you have helped us track down 49,000 miles of lost paths. These paths are not legally recognised and therefore do not have legal protection. Without action, they are at risk of disappearing forever. Whether or not you’ve researched lost paths before, want to work from home, in the archives or on the ground, we need your help to save them.
Get Scotland’s paths on the Map
We’re creating the best-ever map of Scottish paths featuring hundreds of previously hidden trails. Help us expand and improve the map by joining our growing team of volunteers who are getting out to check the paths and log new ones.
3. Share your story
We’re always looking for stories that help bring the Ramblers and the world of walking alive. We share these stories in different ways to help us to inspire more people to get out walking and fight for the places we love to wander.
Everyone walks for a different reason. Whether it’s for health, friendship, community or adventure. What’s your story?
If walking has made an impact in your life, however big or small, we would love to hear from you.
Drop us an email and we can arrange a chat!
4. Follow, comment and share!
One of the simplest and most effective ways you can support us is by joining our social media community and engaging with our posts.
When more of you add your voices to our posts through likes, comments, and shares, the louder we can be heard by the people that can make a real difference for walkers in Britain. Which means the greater impact we can have with our campaigns that call on decision-makers to protect and expand everyone's access to the outdoors.
5. Use your Ramblers discounts
Okay, this one isn't free exactly, but if you’re a member of the Ramblers, and you’re planning to buy new walking gear anyway, remember to use your 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runners Need. When you save with your discount, a percentage of the purchase price is returned to the Ramblers to help us look after the places you love to explore. Everyone’s a winner!
More ways to support us
There are plenty more ways to get involved and support the work we do! Find out more on our website. As Britain’s Walking charity, we couldn’t do what we do without the genorisity of our supporters. We recognise there’s pressure on pockets right now. But if you are in a position to donate to support our crucial work, we hugely appreciate it.
As the cost-of-living crisis bites, walking remains an affordable pleasure. But how can we cut costs, while also supporting others who are struggling?