9 wins for walking in 2023

What Ramblers supporters helped make possible this year

11 December 2023

What a year 2023 has been! Over the last 12 months, you’ve helped us take great strides forward to open up the outdoors for everyone to enjoy.  

We’ve pulled together nine wins for walking that have been achieved in 2023. And we want to say a big thank you for playing your part in opening up green spaces and the paths, tracks and trails that lead to them.


1. You got involved in 96,000 led walks across England, Scotland and Wales

During the last 12 months, the Ramblers and our partners led a total of 96,000 walks, bringing hundreds of thousands of people together to enjoy wonderful green spaces. 

A huge thank you to all our walk leaders who make these walks possible, and to each and every one of you who joined us for a stroll, ramble or scramble in 2023. 


2. We published groundbreaking research, uncovering the power of paths

We all know our path network is a national treasure. But back in September, we revealed just how valuable it was for the very first time. Our research found it added over 3,000 healthy years of life to the nation, worth an estimated £2 billion – that’s more than £33 for every person in England and Wales. But we also found our access is starkly unequal: our wealthiest communities have 80% more local paths and the most white-dominated areas having 144% more than the most ethnically diverse.

A group of walkers on a narrow path on a bright day.

3. You helped bring our Green Routes campaign to life in London

Our campaign to establish a network of high quality, easy to follow green routes in towns and cities achieved a major step forward in 2023. Due to open in early 2024, the Green Link Walk will run from Epping Forest to Peckham, helping millions access the capital’s green spaces.

This is just one of the outcomes of the leisure walking strategy for London we worked on last year with Transport for London and the Walking and Cycling Commissioner. We’re looking forward to building on this success with you next year – not only in London, but in other towns and cities.


4. The Out There Award built young people’s skills and confidence in the outdoors

The Out There Award gives young adults a chance to build their skills and confidence in the outdoors. This year we welcomed 103 young adults across more than 30 locations across Scotland, with 30 going on to complete the Out There Award Plus, a responsible camping and volunteering weekend. We also launched the pilot of our Ambassador Scheme, training up 10 Out There Award graduates to inspire the next generation of walkers and diversify the outdoor sector.

The Out There Award is free and focuses on reaching young people who face the biggest barriers to accessing the outdoors. This year, 39% of our graduates came from minoritized groups, 32% from LGBTQI+ groups and 16% from the most deprived tenth of Scottish communities.

To help recap the year, some participants share their Out There Award experience.

out there award walkers

5. You helped us open up opportunities for people who face barriers to the outdoors

We know our access to nature is far from equal. So, we launched a new programme of community outreach work, helping to break down the barriers that prevent people from minoritized communities accessing the outdoors.

In Scotland, we’ve engaged with seven organisations across the country, working with refugees and those seeking asylum, testing an approach that includes introductory walks, skills sharing and introductions to local Ramblers groups.

And in England, from Manchester and Liverpool in the north west to Croydon in the south east, Ramblers groups are stepping up to help those seeking asylum experience the joy of the outdoors.


6. Our navigation videos tackled the fear of getting lost

We know that the fear of getting lost is a major reason stopping people from exploring the outdoors. So we decided to do something about it. Our collection of 17 short video guides was launched in November, teaching both new and experienced walkers everything they need to know to find their way in the outdoors, from reading map symbols to using phones to navigate.


7.  You helped open up more of the King Charles III England Coast Path

Throughout 2023, Ramblers volunteers have been at the forefront of making the Coast Path a reality. And it’s not just our volunteers who have got involved: every single one of our supporters has played their part, whether through supporting our campaigns or donating to support our work on the ground.

This year has seen the opening of new sections in Cumbria, West Sussex and Kent, bringing the current grand total to over 1,000 miles now complete! 2024 will mark the completion of the King Charles III England Coast Path, which will be the world’s longest continuous coastal trail.

walkers on a grey, cloudy day walking along a coast path

8. You helped us improve paths to make them more accessible and inclusive

Over the last 12 months, our Path Accessibility Fund has funded local projects that make paths easier to access. From replacing stiles with gaps and gates to clearing paths and improving surfaces, local volunteers have helped make sure everyone can enjoy the benefits of our wonderful path network.

And in Wales, our Paths to Wellbeing project helped embed walking at the heart of 18 communities, giving local people the tools, training and knowhow to unlock the potential of hundreds of miles of local paths and improve local biodiversity. We installed over 240 gates, added 2000 waymarks and 40 benches to make walking easier and more enjoyable. And the best part? We’ve secured funding for four more projects in 2023-24.  


9. You’ve helped us get more paths on the map

The award-winning Scottish Paths Map doesn’t just bring together tens of thousands of paths not shown on Ordnance Survey maps – it also uncovers previously-hidden ones for us all to enjoy. And this year, you discovered 850 new trails, helping to further bolster the best ever map of Scotland’s trails.

In Wales, as well as improving local paths, you helped us create 145 new routes that have already been enjoyed by over 140,000 people.

And England isn’t left out – in Stoke-on-Trent alone, volunteers uncovered 104 miles of previously unrecorded public rights of way, increasing the city’s recorded network by 350%!

wins of 2023

A beginner's guide to navigation

A beginner's guide to navigation

Embrace the spirit of adventure with our easy-to-follow video series teaching you everything you need to know about finding your way in the outdoors.

Two walkers standing in an embrace with rolling hills behind them

The Ramblers Out There Award

The Out There Award offers outdoors skills and confidence to young adults who otherwise may not feel that walking outdoors was for them. 

A group of people walking along a path in a local park with grass, trees and flowers

Green routes

We think every town and city should have a network of green routes so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of walking in nature.