When we are out on a walk, we all rely on signposts to help us navigate our way, so having the right signage in the right places can make all the difference in our ability to access and enjoy the outdoors.
The Ramblers Cymru pilot project in Torfaen and Monmouthshire local authorities looked for volunteers to go out and check specific parts of the existing paths network to see the true extent of the problem.
Why did we this?
Our Big Pathwatch research in 2017 showed over 650 reports of missing or broken signs at the entrance of paths and around 150 reports of somebody not finding their way due to lack of signage. In one county alone, there are over 1000 fingerposts/signage issues outstanding.
Councils are responsible for signposting paths, but tight budgets and overstretched responsibilities means it often falls to the bottom of the list of priorities. Right now, more than half the network is still waiting to be marked.
Ramblers Cymru want to be part of the solution by running a campaign on the matter. We want to raise awareness about signage, its benefits and what we can do together to solve some of the problems on the network.
To pilot the project, we worked with two neighbouring local authorities in South East Wales - Torfaen and Monmouthshire.
The first step of the project was to collect information on the state of signposts in both counties.
We gave volunteers training on how to record missing and damaged signs, where they went out in their own time to check the signposts in an assigned area and then input this a database.
The data collected will help us better understand the state of the signage and will be used to make the case for better support for signposting and access.