A successful year for walkers

Aylesbury Ramblers Walking Festival

The Aylesbury Ramblers walk the newly created Outer Aylesbury Ring in September 2013

We’ve looked back at the last year and picked 12 successes we’ve achieved thanks to the help of our volunteers, members and supporters which have benefitted walkers everywhere.

Looking after our volunteers

We supported over 25,000 volunteers to help deliver our work as Britain’s walking charity, running workshops on issues such as high speed rail, holding a Campaigns and Policy Conference and introducing a series of Volunteer Development Days.

Path maintenance goes on tour

Our 102 path maintenance teams improved over 600 paths, keeping them clear, well-signed and easy to use. Our first ever path maintenance holiday also took place in Cornwall in October, with half a mile of path opened up.

Protecting paths

We saved over 800 paths from being blocked, closed or badly diverted, including having useful and historic paths added to definitive maps (the official records of public rights of way in England and Wales).

Creating a walking legacy in Scotland

We launched our 50th Medal Routes walking hub and there are now over 130 short walks on offer in local communities in Scotland. The Medal Routes project is designed to help create a legacy from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year.

Standing up for the coast path

Our One Coast For All campaign for the England Coast Path made the Case for Coast in Westminster, gained nearly 20,000 signatories and was named environmental or access initiative of the year at the Great Outdoors Awards in November.

Leading walks week-in, week-out

Our walk leaders organised over 45,000 group walks from short strolls to challenging hikes. They welcomed new walkers during Get Walking Week in May and will be out on the trail again for the Festival of Winter Walks from 21 December until 5 January.

Helping people get healthy

We encouraged over 88,000 people to go on a health walk and produced our Walking Works report with Macmillan Cancer Support, which explains how walking can help us all lead longer, happier and healthier lives.

Growing our routes library

Ramblers Routes, our online library of downloadable walking routes now has over 1500 inspiring routes searchable by length, difficulty and theme, all of which have a handy profile tool to check ascents and descents.

Getting people talking walking

Over a thousand people joined our great outdoors debate, talking to our volunteers, downloading discussion kits and completing our online survey, to tell us what makes their outdoors great so we can help keep it that way.

TV highlights

We featured on Countryfile and Newsnight talking about the England Coast Path and BBC Radio Scotland’s Out of Doors programme talking about the impact of reintroducing wolves in Scotland. The Cirencester Ramblers also had a star turn on ITV’s Saturday Farm.

Championing Scottish access

We celebrated 10 years of the freedom to roam in Scotland, marking a decade since the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 gave people the right to roam almost everywhere in Scotland in Walk magazine.

Making the most of the path network

The Aylesbury Ramblers created the 53 mile Outer Aylesbury Ring in Buckinghamshire linking up existing paths, while the Isle of Wight Ramblers developed a series of car-free walks by teaming up with the island’s bus network.