Bringing the benefits of nature closer to home for city and town dwellers
Everyone in towns and cities should be able to enjoy the benefits of walking in nature
Walking in nature is a simple, universal pleasure. It is proven to improve our health and happiness, whether on countryside paths, in parks or down tree-lined city streets. But, for too many, a nature-rich walk is still out of reach.
We think every city should have a network of green routes so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of walking in nature.
What we have achieved so far
Over the past few years, many people have taken up walking for health and enjoyment. Huge numbers of us have sought out green routes and spaces close to home for exercise and a daily dose of nature.
The Ramblers believe that everyone should have easy access to great, green places to walk, without having to travel far or make a big effort. We have a long history of campaigning for popular green routes in towns and cities that make it easier for everyone to enjoy a nature-rich walk on their doorstep. Examples of these include the London Loop and the Salford Trail.
What we want to see in the future
Imagine if every city had a network of high quality, easy to follow walking routes that link up green spaces and enable everyone to explore cities on foot without losing sight of nature. These routes would offer residents, commuters and visitors alike a welcoming, safe and enjoyable way of experiencing the city. This is our ambition.
Green routes can be created by relatively simple measures such as:
improving walking routes through and between green spaces
providing safe, pleasant routes from city centres to open green spaces on the edges of cities
planting trees and wildflowers
installing signs so that routes can be followed without a book or a map
introducing safe crossings, wide pavements and low speed limits.
What action is needed
We are currently urging authorities across England to create, maintain and promote networks of green routes.
The first step is to have a plan. Each city or city region should create a strategic plan for leisure walking. It should take account of existing routes and make proposals for improving individual routes and addressing the connectivity of the entire network.
Local authorities should develop plans for greening our streets and spaces so that they are not only more welcoming for people but also provide benefits for nature and climate.
The Ramblers are campaigning for a planning system that supports walking and greening in all new developments. We are also calling for guarantees that all new transport infrastructure schemes prioritise walking and contribute to greening our streets and public spaces.
As a charity, you can support our work to protect and improve our paths and green spaces by donating or becoming a member. Together we’ll increase access to green spaces, open up more places to walk and boost Britain’s wellbeing one step at a time.
Our report uncovers the sharp disparity between those who have easy access to green space and those who don’t.
We want to ensure that walking in our busy towns and cities is easier and more enjoyable for everyone.