Ramblers Scotland calls for a boost in support for outdoor recreation to make Scotland a happier, healthier place.
In the run up to May’s Holyrood elections, we are calling on all political parties to support walking and demonstrate their commitment to promoting active, healthy lifestyles, protecting the environment and improving access to the outdoors.
As Ramblers Scotland’s director, Jess Dolan, explained, “We would like to see a political and social sea-change in attitudes towards the role outdoor recreation and Scotland’s amazing natural heritage can both play in improving our daily lives and our wellbeing. We need proper investment in the places people walk, from their local park to Scotland’s national parks, with better promotion of paths and routes to make it easier for people to enjoy all the benefits of being active in the natural environment.”
“Our vision is of a Scotland where walking is something people do every day, as a way of spending time with friends or just keeping healthy, as a mode of transport or simply for the joy of being outdoors,” continued Jess. “We want to capitalise on Scotland’s unrivalled natural heritage to transform the culture of our country, so that everyone is inspired to walk the West Highland Way, climb a Munro or bag their own personal summit.”
Some of the measures put forward in the manifesto include:
Investing in paths and bridges, signs and promotion.
Setting up National Recreation Areas around Scotland to showcase our world-class opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Setting up hut trails to enable people to experience a night staying in remote areas.
Protecting Scottish access rights, which are under threat of being eroded away by obstructions and lack of enforcement of the law.
Establishing Scotland’s third national park in Harris.