Summer 2014

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Summer 2014

Welcome to the summer issue!

Until now, I had no idea what a debt of gratitude we walkers owe the bootleggers and pirates of yore. It’s their centuries-old legacy of clandestine tracks that has left us with some of Britain’s most thrilling smugglers’ walks. With the summer holidays beckoning, we’ve got a camping gear special, plus an in-depth look at the new National Forest Way and the latest on exciting plans for world-leading outdoor recreation rights in Wales. Don’t miss Christine Maher’s cautionary tale, our interview with ‘rewilding’ champion George Monbiot and your chance to win a holiday in Turkey. Good luck!

Dominic Bates
Editor

Exploring the National Forest Way

National Forest Way

Almost 25 years after Britain’s biggest afforestation project began, the National Forest has a new long-distance path that showcases the extraordinary transformation of a scarred, post-industrial landscape into thriving, mature woodland. But, as David Atkinson discovers, remnants of far more ancient times remain.

My Walk of Life: I fell hard for walking

Christine Maher

Artist and Cheshire Rambler Christine Maher refused to let a terrifying accident put her off walking. In fact, it spurred her on to conquer ever more challenging terrain.

The perfect pirate path

Smugglers Routes

From illegal Highland stills to walled-up Cornish caves, Britain has a rich history of illicit trade – and the bootleggers’ old trails and hideouts make for perfect, swashbuckling family walks. Try smuggling one of these into your next family holiday.

Walk and Talk with George Monbiot

George Monbiot

With the publication of his book, Feral, last year, environmental journalist George Monbiot emerged as one of the strongest voices in favour of rewilding Britain’s landscapes. We walked with him in the foothills of the Cambrian Mountains to find out why he calls the area a desert, and why he thinks Britain should once again be the domain of wolves, bears and bison.

World Class Wales?

Wales feature

Wales could be on the cusp of becoming the greatest outdoors destination in the world, if a review of legislation by the Welsh Government goes the right way. Combining the freedom to roam with a national network of celebrated footpaths, the new access arrangements would allow outdoors enthusiasts to walk, swim, camp and climb responsibly across the entire country. But not everyone is excited by the prospect. We investigate what options are on the table, and how close the dream scenario for walkers is to becoming a reality.

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