Britain’s leading walking charity The Ramblers is encouraging people across England, Scotland and Wales to discover the joys of walking in nature and leave their car at home wherever possible.
The charity is making the call after being awarded £2 million in funding thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, as part of the lottery’s Climate Challenge initiative.
The funding was announced to coincide with World Car Free Day (22nd September), which encourages people globally to connect with their natural environment through means of transport such as walking.
Research shows that the more connected people are to nature, the more likely they are to take action to protect and care for it: this is more urgent than ever, following the warnings of the latest International Panel on Climate Challenge report.
The £2 million award will enable the Ramblers to:
- Give more people the confidence and knowledge to enjoy walking in nature with new, tried-and-tested group walks and self-guided walking experiences.
- Conduct research into people’s access to, and use of, the footpath network in England and Wales. This will facilitate work with local authorities and government to improve local communities’ access to green spaces.
- Make more walkers aware of the important work the Ramblers does to protect and expand the places we all love to walk - like the 49,000 miles of paths that the Don’t Lose Your Way campaign has identified are at risk of being lost - and to remove barriers so everyone can enjoy walking in green spaces and on Britain’s hundreds of thousands of miles of well-loved paths, tracks and trails.
Tanya Curry, interim chief executive of the Ramblers said: "Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery we’ve already been able to do lots of great work to keep our countryside open to all and fighting for the things that matter most to walkers, so everyone can experience that amazing feeling of exploring the outdoors on foot for themselves.
"Walking has become more important than ever, to more people than ever, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the need to protect nature and the places we love to walk from climate change is becoming increasingly urgent -- this important funding will help us to do more to address this, one step at a time."
Laura Chow, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery said: "Whilst going for a walk may seem relatively simple, encouraging people to walk more and protect nature is an increasingly important part of addressing the climate crisis. Players have supported Ramblers’ work as part of our Postcode Climate Challenge initiative, which is providing £24 million of funding to 12 charities for projects tackling climate change, and I’m delighted that Ramblers are part of this initiative."
To celebrate this major boost to the Ramblers’ work, People’s Postcode Lottery is launching a prize draw highlighting the central role footpaths play in the pleasure of walking.
The winning entrant will receive a year’s free Ramblers membership, offering a host of benefits such as unlimited access to 50,000 Ramblers group walks, an online library of nearly 4,000 walking routes, a quarterly magazine packed with inspirational walking stories and information, and the chance to support vital work increasing access to green spaces, opening up more places to walk and boosting Britain’s wellbeing.
To enter, simply head to People’s Postcode Lottery’s Facebook page to find the competition post, post a photo of your favourite path and why you love walking.