Can you go down to the woods today?

Probably not. If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise, because disappointingly, only a third of woodland in England is currently available for people to fully explore.

In 2013 the government pledged to increase access to woodland, but so far very little progress has been made. We’re now calling for all political parties to commit to producing a forestry bill early in the next parliament.

Climbing trees, searching for conkers, feeling the crunch of autumn leaves under foot - these are experiences every child and adult should have - which is why we’re calling for all of the political parties to commit to increasing access to England’s woods.

“The government agreed that every person should have access to a wood or wooded area close to where they live. Now we want to see real action, with woodland being opened up for everyone to enjoy,” said Ramblers chief executive Benedict Southworth.

This year we launched our Manifesto for a Walking Britain. We’re calling for the next government to increase people’s access to woodland. The big question is: will they take up the mantle?

To encourage party leaders to make a commitment to giving walkers greater access to our woodlands, we’re encouraging everyone to email political parties and ask them to include woodland access in their party manifestos.

You can get involved - join our campaign now.

Woodlands

A Walking Britain

A Walking Britain isn’t just about access to woodlands. Our manifesto covers three core areas we want the next government to commit to taking action:

Promoting active, healthy lifestyles by:

  • Putting walking at the centre of efforts to tackle physical inactivity
  • Introducing a properly funded strategic programme for walking in England
  • Building a safer, healthier and more attractive walking environment in urban areas

Protecting the places people walk by:

  • Keeping footpaths open and easy to use
  • Providing accessible and affordable public transport for countryside users
  • Strengthening planning guidance to prevent damaging development

Improving access to the outdoors by:

  • Establishing a new, independent body for National Trails
  • Making significant progress in constructing the England Coast Path
  • Increasing people’s access to woodland and open countryside

If you want the next government to commit to a Walking Britain, join our campaign now.

Read our full manifesto.