London green walking routes
Making it easier for every Londoner to enjoy walking in nature
A safer, quieter, and greener way of getting around the city
Walking is good for our physical and mental wellbeing. It reduces risk of heart disease and strokes and reduces anxiety and isolation. So we want to make it easier for every Londoner to enjoy walking in nature.
The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted how important it is to Londoners to have great places to walk nearby. It also highlighted how unequal access to green spaces is. Data from the Office for National Statistics (May 2020) showed that only 44% of Londoners live within a five minute walk of a park or green space. Many are put off from walking in green spaces by busy roads, poorly maintained routes or simply not knowing where to go.
Residents and visitors to the capital can already enjoy several popular green routes, including seven ‘Walk London’ paths. Ramblers’ volunteers play an important role in keeping these paths in good order and promoting their use. But we believe there is plenty of opportunity to further improve and expand London’s network of walking routes.
What we want to see in the future
Our vision for London is a network of high-quality walking routes that offer a safer, quieter, and greener way of getting around the city. The routes could be used for leisure walks or as a means of getting from A to B.
Our London Ramblers group have set out a vision for new routes in London. Our Greenways Map of suggested new routes has been produced with support from CPRE London, London Living Streets, Long Distance Walkers Association, Sustrans London, Inspiral London, London National Trust and Urban Good.
The six proposed new routes would provide walking links between green spaces, create greener streets and link to existing routes like the London Loop and the Thames Path.
We are calling on the Mayor of London, the Greater London Authority and London Borough Councils to improve and expand the city’s network of leisure routes.
During the 2021 Mayoral election, there was widespread support from candidates for our Greenways vision. In his manifesto, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan pledged action to improve walking routes and increase access to green space:
“Walking with a friend or taking the kids out for some fresh air has sustained so many Londoners during the pandemic. We have learned the value of our wonderful parks and green spaces, and I want to develop a new plan for connecting these areas with local communities, making sure these green routes are accessible for everyone. This will include improving existing walking routes, such as the London Loop and Capital Ring. City Hall will also back exciting new schemes like the Camden High Line and the Peckham Coal Line.”
We welcome these commitments and are working with London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner and Transport for London to make sure that practical improvements are delivered.
As a charity, you can support our work to protect and improve our paths and green spaces by donating or becoming a member. Together we’ll increase access to green spaces, open up more places to walk and boost Britain’s wellbeing one step at a time.