We face a climate emergency, catastrophic nature loss, rising obesity levels, a mental health crisis and widening health inequalities. Enabling more people to walk and be in contact with nature can help tackle these challenges. 

Our green spaces encourage people to get outside and get active - whether it’s a city park or a National Park, the local footpath network or the new England Coast Path. They improve our health and happiness and help us relax and unwind. They are where we spend time with family, feel close to nature or connect to our history and heritage. 

But access to nature is not equal. We need urgent action to bring the benefits of nature to everyone. That will take investment, ambition and political leadership.

Download the full manifesto here

Access to nature

Our landscapes – and the path network that crosses and connects them – are national assets that everyone should be able to enjoy. We have a duty to nurture these places so that everyone benefits from them now and into the future.

We’re calling on politicians to…
  • Work with the Ramblers to develop legally-binding targets for public access to nature established through an ambitious Environment Act. 
  • Extend the deadline for registering historic paths by at least 5 years to take account of delays in introducing new regulations and make sure these precious routes are not lost for ever.

Walking neighbourhoods 

Our local neighbourhoods should be designed for walking. Everyone, wherever they live and whatever their background, should have access to high-quality green routes within a short walk of their front door. 
 
We’re calling on politicians to…
  • Strengthen planning rules so that neighbourhoods are designed for walking and residents have easy access to high-quality green space.
  • Set a 20mph default speed limit in all built-up areas to make our streets safer for everyone.
  • Ban pavement parking in England and Wales, as recently passed in Scotland, to create safer, more accessible streets for people walking.

Invest in walking

If the next government is to address climate change and improve the nation’s health, it will need to prioritise walking and the environment in its spending decisions.
 
We’re calling on politicians to…
  • Increase investment in walking and cycling to at least 10% national transport spending by 2024/25.
  • Introduce an agricultural payments regime that promotes public access by:
    • Directing payments towards the creation of new routes and improvements that make the existing network more accessible
    • Establishing a baseline of minimum standards expected of those who receive public money.
  • Deliver a long-term sustainable funding settlement for our National Trails, including the England Coast Path. 

If you'd like to help enable more people to walk and be in contact with nature, why not share our manifesto with your local candidates when they knock on your door or send them a link to it via social media?

Scotland and Wales

This manifesto has been produced for the general election on 12 December 2019 and is focused on the UK parliament.

 

For more information about our work with the Scottish parliament, please email scotland@ramblers.org.uk or visit:  

 

 

For more information about our work with the Welsh assembly, please email cerddwyr@ramblers.org.uk, or visit:

 

 

Big Ben

General election - Party manifestos

As we enter into the final few weeks of the general election campaign, Stephen Russell, Ramblers policy and advocacy officer, rounds up the parties’ pledges that could impact on walking and the places we love to walk.