8 wins for walking in 2022
What Ramblers supporters helped make possible this year
12 December 2022
A lot has happened in 2022. When it comes to walking, there’s been a lot to celebrate. That’s thanks to people like you who care about access to our green spaces and the paths, tracks and trails that lead us to them.
Here are eight wins for walking you’ve made possible in 2022!
1. Together, we fought against a time limit on saving lost paths – and won.
When we launched our Don’t Lose Your Way campaign in 2020, there was a deadline looming. Our mission was to identify paths in England and Wales that had been lost from the map and get them recorded again. Without this work, these paths don’t have any legal protection and are in danger of being lost forever. You threw themselves into the Don’t Lose Your Way campaign and found more than 49,000 miles of these paths. But we only had until 2026 to do the research and work required to get them back on the map – an impossible task.
In 2022, after campaigning from Ramblers supporters, the UK government followed in the footsteps of the Welsh government by making a vital decision. They committed to abolishing the 2026 deadline in England, giving us more time to save paths for future generations. This was a huge win for walking.
2. Hundreds of thousands of people enjoyed Ramblers group walks
Walk leaders from the Ramblers and Ramblers Wellbeing Walks continued their amazing programme of group walks in 2022. They helped people across England, Scotland and Wales discover hidden trails close to home and adventures further afield by organising more than 70,000 group walks. How good did that feel after two years of uncertainty caused by Covid restrictions?
There are so many great stories about why groups walks are so treasured by members of the Ramblers, including Kandra who said "I hadn’t expected it to be such a social and friendly experience. That was a big bonus."
3. We took part in the Great Walk Together for the first time, organising walks with refugees and people seeking asylum
In September, we worked with the Jo Cox Foundation as part of their Great Walk Together. The Surrey Young Walkers were one of the Ramblers groups that got involved. They linked up with a local refugee organisation, arranging two walks for the event. Refugees and people seeking asylum have often fled war, persecution or other traumatic experiences so it’s wonderful to be able to offer a little respite through walking. We are already looking forward to the Great Walk Together in 2023.
4. We championed the best-ever map of Scotland’s paths
Scotland has world-class access rights and amazing landscapes to enjoy. But many people lack confidence about where to walk. In 2022, more than 300 Ramblers volunteers have been mapping Scotland’s paths to help everyone get the most out of walking in Scotland. While it’s already the best-ever map of Scotland’s trails, our volunteers have been using Ramblers technology to make our Scottish Paths Map even bigger and better. They checked paths and logged previously hidden trails that don’t appear on Ordnance Survey maps, to make them visible to the public at last. And in May, it officially became an award winner.
5. Our Green Routes campaign in England took a big step forward in London
The campaign is pushing for a network of high quality, easy to follow routes that link up green spaces in towns and cities. It had a very successful year in London. Our staff and volunteers worked with Transport for London and the Walking and Cycling Commissioner to develop a ‘leisure walking strategy’. The plan sets out their ambition to create the world’s largest, greenest and most accessible leisure walking network. This will give residents, commuters, and visitors a safe and enjoyable way of experiencing the urban outdoors. Now, we’ll build on London’s success in other towns and cities across England.
6. Paths to Wellbeing has been improving access to walking in 18 communities across Wales.
Over the last year this project has developed 145 walking routes to put walking at the heart of communities. Over 1,300 volunteers have put in over 7,300 hours to improve paths and nature, with activities such as invasive species removal, tree planting, wildflower sowing, gate installations and path clearance days. We’ve worked with volunteers from all ages and backgrounds including schoolchildren, refugee groups and other community groups – often in partnership with the local authorities, landowners, Wildlife Trusts, Coed Cadw and others.
7. We started the countdown to the completion of the England Coast Path. 796 miles down, 1,917 to go!
This year, we started looking forward to the completion of longest coastal route in the world with our Coast Path Countdown. Volunteers at the Ramblers have been instrumental in making the England Coast Path a reality. They’ve walked and surveyed the coast and met with Natural England’s advisers to put forward the best route for walkers. When the path is completed it will be a continuous route of just under 2,800 miles. One for the bucket list?
8. In Scotland, we launched the Out There Award Plus for 18- to 26-year-olds
The original Out There Award gives young adults a chance to builds their skills and confidence in the outdoors. We had 50 participants complete the award this year. We also launched the Out There Award Plus, which focuses on volunteering and introductory responsible camping skills. The award-winning Out There Award scheme continues to be a fantastic way of getting young adults excited about the outdoors – with big plans for expansion in the year ahead.
We can’t wait to see what we achieve together in 2023! Thank you for all the amazing support over the past 12 months.
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