National Geographic: How you can help plot the future of UK walking – from a standstill


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“Walkers, your country needs you – and the inability to walk very far at the moment needn’t be a barrier.

An ambitious new project led by a National Geographic Explorer is recruiting an army of 500 volunteers to create the most comprehensive network of walking routes in Great Britain – linking every village, town and city via the nation’s intricate web of public rights of way.

The Slow Ways project is the brainchild of geographer and explorer Daniel Raven-Ellison, who is seeking to find a silver lining to the cloud of coronavirus lockdown. With the population confined to home, his intrepid routes-without-boots scheme requires nothing more than a computer, map-reading skills and a galvanised public spirit. His goal is to plot more than 4,000 walking routes on an online map, using the 200,000km of footpaths and bridleways that trace their way between village, town and city.”

Read the whole article on National Geographic.

9 Comments

  • Dear Dan, There already is a national walking network in England – along the towpaths of the extensive canal system. For example my son and I have walked from London to Birmingham to Manchester to Leeds to Skipton and south into Lancashire (in 2 or 3 day jaunts), now heading for Liverpool. And, mostly, without ever crossing a road!
    For a map see: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/canal-and-river-network
    Yours, Michael Carley

  • This is very interesting and would like to volunteer to help with checking out walks. I live in the North West of England. Let me know if I can help

  • Hi Dan,
    Slow ways is an excellent idea!
    Please put me down to test walk a route (or routes).
    I’ve been walking since my teens and when younger did the Macchu Pichu trail, Everest Base Camp Trek and Kilimanjaro amongst others. Currently (in my holiday time – I’m a Teacher) I’m walking (mostly with rucsac, tent and collie dog) to Cape Wrath Scotland from my home in Woolhope, Herefordshire using mainly long distance footpaths. I’ve got as far as Galashiels. In between times I’m walking The Wales Coast path (clockwise). But all these can take a back seat for the Slow Ways project.
    Will Griffiths

  • Hi, I have a FB group ‘Ayrshire Walks’ with a few thousand members and wondered if there was any way to help your mapping in Scotland

    Marla

    • Hi Marla! Yes please, that would be great. Have you signed up to the Slow Ways newsletter for updates? I’ll be emailing when we are ready to get out and test the routes.. but that will probably not be until late summer or early autumn.

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