Planning principles

Protecting the beauty of the countryside and making our towns and cities greener and easier to walk in

Ensuring planning works for people, nature and climate

As walkers, we value natural beauty, a sense of peace and tranquillity, and thriving wildlife. These can lift our spirits and restore a sense of calm. As the Ramblers it’s our mission to help people to get out walking and enjoy these wellbeing benefits.  

We have a wealth of landscapes that are valued for their natural beauty and heritage.  Some of these such as National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are protected by law. Our countryside has long been a lived-in, working environment.   Human impact has helped to shape our surroundings which has had positive and negative impacts on the landscape.  

For a long time, our towns and cities have prioritised cars and often developments have made them into grey, concrete places which can be unfriendly and unpleasant for walkers.  

We work to protect and enhance the beauty of the countryside and make our towns and cities greener and easier to walk in.  We care about the planning system as it helps to shape and control development in the countryside and our towns and cities.   

What we want to see in the future  

In any landscape, urban or rural, new developments should work for people, climate and nature.  They should: 

  • Be sensitively located and fit in with the character of their surroundings. 

  • Protect and improve public access, so that more people can enjoy the benefits of being outdoors. 

  • Support and restore nature, and inspire people to connect with it. 

  • Support local communities, allowing them to influence the future of their surroundings and benefit from sustainable economic growth. 

  • Support sustainable development, to reduce our carbon footprint, adapt to a changing climate, and pass a sustainable legacy on to future generations. 

In our towns and cities, the planning system should: 

  • Enforce quality standards for access to green space. 

  • Protect existing local green spaces from development and create new ones where they are scarce. 

  • Make sure that there are strategic plans for walking, cycling and well-connected green spaces and green routes across whole towns and cities, so people are better connected. 

  • Integrate transport policy and practice with planning, because often these don’t work well together 

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.