14 December 2021 by Olly Hicks-Pattison
As we ramble towards the end of the year, we wanted to reflect on everything that we have achieved together protecting the paths, tracks and trails we all love.
We’ve worked harder than ever, with thousands of volunteers, members, supporters and campaigners to protect the places we walk across England, Scotland and Wales. So let’s look back and celebrate some of our amazing achievements.
Here are ten standout milestones we achieved together this year:
- We launched our vision for green routes across London, Manchester, and other urban areas. The Mayor of London supported our asks and we are now working with Transport for London to develop a new leisure walking strategy and to improve & expand the green walking network.
- We launched the best ever map of Scottish paths, thanks to our ‘Mapping Scotland’s Paths’ project. The map was created by 100 Ramblers volunteers and shows almost 42,000 miles of paths. It features hundreds of previously hidden trails, including many not shown on Ordnance Survey maps.
- We secured £1.2m of funding to support 18 communities in Wales transform their access to walking. The Paths to Wellbeing project will help to protect and enhance paths and access in partnership with local authorities, charities and other organisations.
- Our lobbying work, including over 2,000 Ramblers supporters responding to a government consultation, led to the Department for Transport backing our calls for changes to the highway code that will improve pedestrian safety.
- Our lobbying of Welsh Government helped secure £1.35m of funding for public rights of way improvement plans in 2020/21 and an addition £2m to continue the scheme in 2021/22.
- We led a coalition of organisations to oppose Network Rail’s closing of a level crossing at Dalwhinnie, in Scotland, which cut off an historic route that has been used by walkers for generations. More than 9,000 supporters signed our petition - and the campaign continues.
- In 2020, we searched all of England and Wales and found over 49,000 miles of paths which could be lost forever. This year our crowdfunding appeal raised over £80,000 to develop the next stage of the project and save these paths for future generations.
- We successfully lobbied for the Welsh Government’s National Development Framework to recognise rights of way and common land as national assets. This will guide infrastructure and development for the next two decades.
- With support from the Scottish Government, we led a responsible camping campaign in Scotland. With the aim of encouraging young people to enjoy responsible camping, we teamed up with TikTok star Jarad Rowan and created an award-winning video that has been viewed more 270,000 times and won a UK-wide social media award.
- We worked with Natural England to revise and update the Countryside Code to be fit for today’s walkers. The new code was launched ahead of Easter 2021, and we’ve supported Natural England to promote the code and reach the walking community.
What we’re working on now – and how you can help
In England, we are now busy working to ensure that everyone, everywhere has easy access to nature, no matter where they live or their walk of life. Right now, the UK Government is passing key legislation in England that will shape our local green spaces and access to the countryside for generations to come.
Help us to show there’s popular support for ensuring everyone, everywhere can enjoy walking in nature by signing our petition.
The threats to our access rights in Scotland don’t stop with Network Rail. A landowner in Glenborrodale in Ardnamurchan has gone to court to permanently close an historic route across his estate. The case is an attempt to erode our access rights, and we are going to fight against it.
Help us to defeat this challenge by donating to our legal fund. It is estimated that we’d need around £82,000 to fight the case.
With you by our side, together we can continue to protect the places we all love to wander, increase access to nature and boost Britain’s wellbeing one step at a time.
We look forward to continuing to campaign together in 2022.