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Ramblers Campaign for National Trails

July 20, 2012
Launch of the Campaign for National Trails
The Cleveland Way, credit Natural England / Mike KiplingOur Campaign for National Trails was launched last week, following proposals tabled by government in May to drastically change the way the 13 trails in England are managed. We are particularly concerned that the proposed changes would cause an drastic decline in the quality of the trails. The proposals would leave them without a national body to champion them, or to plan strategically for their future, and subject them to financial risk.
We don’t need to convince you of the importance of the trails in terms of heritage value, enjoyment and vast economic benefit, but here are a few facts to share with your members:

  • National Trails attract an estimated 12 million people a yearto over 2000 miles of some of the best walking opportunities – which will more than double when the English Coastal Path is complete;
  • The South West Coast Path National Trail is estimated to generate £307 million for the regional economy every year;
  • Since the Hadrian’s Wall Path opened in 2003 there has been a 99% increase in long-distance walkers and £19 million has been spent locally.
  • The Ramblers played a key role in the creation of National Trails with Tom Stephenson, the first Ramblers Secretary, outlining his vision in 1935 – thirty years later the first trail, the Pennine Way, was opened.

We would appreciate your support in spreading the word to members, other volunteers and other contacts. We are recruiting National Trail Champions who are willing to promote local trails – please contact theCampaigns team for more information.
You can read about Natural England’s proposals in detail here and more about our concerns here.

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