On 2 March Shadow Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Minister Barry Gardiner MP stepped out with the Mid Sussex Ramblers in the South Downs National Park to talk about the many benefits of walking.
The ramble acted as a celebration of walkers being able to freely explore much of England’s mountains, moors, heaths, down and common land and included a visit to a newly opened area of access land at Patcham Court Farm.
Ramblers senior policy officer Kate Conto said: “We really enjoyed our walk with Barry Gardiner MP and the opportunity to discuss how important walking is. We walked within the South Downs, our newest national park, which we long campaigned for. The South Downs is now incredibly popular with walkers from all over the country, a true jewel in our landscape.
“We also visited an area that’s recently been opened up as access land at Patcham Court Farm, which means that walkers can freely explore the area and enjoy the freedom of walking off the beaten track.
“Along the way we talked about the many benefits of walking, from the numerous health benefits it offers through to the support it brings to the local economy and the positive impact it has on the environment and our local neighbourhoods too.
“We know walking is one of the most accessible, achievable and enjoyable ways to get people more active. We offer regular local walks of varying lengths and we’d love for you to join us too to discover the fun, friendship and health benefits of walking with a group in the great outdoors.”