Improving access to nature for everyone
We campaign to ensure everyone can enjoy the benefits of walking in nature
Walking in nature is a simple, universal pleasure that should be open to everyone, everywhere.
But it’s not.
We’re campaigning to ensure that everyone is able to access and enjoy the outdoors. Find out more about our current campaigns and get involved
The benefits of connecting with nature
Walking in nature, whether in towns, cities or the countryside, makes us happier and healthier.
For many of us, nature provided a sense of freedom during the Covid-19 lockdowns. Walking in nature helped us stay healthy and boosted our wellbeing.
Our research in 2020 found that more people than ever valued access to nature. We found that people want to walk more to improve their health and wellbeing, and that green spaces were valued for their role in boosting our physical and mental health.
Just how unequal is our access to nature?
There is lots of evidence that access to nature is linked to better health and wellbeing. But access to nature is not equal, and lockdown restrictions brought that into sharp focus during 2020.
Our research showed that 57% of respondents lived within five minutes of green spaces. But this figure fell to just 39% for people form a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) background.
There is also a wide gap between the richest and poorest in society. Our report showed that 46% of respondents on the lowest income had easy access to green space, compared with over 70% of those with the highest income levels.
Our work to improve access to nature for everyone
We believe that everyone, everywhere should have easy access to nature. The UK Government has committed to deliver this, setting an ambition that everyone is a 15 minute walk from green space. However, time and time again it is failing to act.
The Environment Act, passed in 2021, was a missed opportunity for the government to introduce targets and plans to improve access. Similarly, despite a commitment to deliver access to nature through Environmental Land Management schemes, the government announced them without any support for public access improvements.
We’re campaigning to protect and improve our path network, to expand our freedom to roam, and ensure every town and city in the country has a network of green routes. We’re fighting against time to save lost paths, and to protect our access rights.
We are campaigning to expand the freedom to roam. It is one of the biggest things we can do to increase access to the outdoors for everyone.
Explore our library of walking routes across England, Scotland and Wales. There are long, short, easy and challenging options. Enter a location or postcode to find nearby walking routes.