Are you up for a challenge? The Ramblers’ Association (RA) wants you to walk every single path and bridleway in England and Wales – and you’ve got less than a year to do it.
OK, you don’t have to walk every one yourself, but the idea is that every 1km x 1km square is walked and any problems recorded. That way, the association will build up a full picture of the state of rights of way in England and Wales.
Anyone can join in the Use Your Paths Challenge; you don’t have to be an RA member. Results are recorded on a website form and there’s an interactive map for you to find the square you want to tackle.
The RA has a map of progress so far and although the squares are filling in, there are still swathes not recorded, particularly in central and southern Wales, East Anglia and the southern Pennines and Peak. It’s a great excuse to get out, while doing a bit of good for walkers everywhere. You may even be able to fill in a few squares without shifting from your armchair; not every kilometre square has a right-of-way within it, so you can tick it off without even getting your boots on.
Some local RA groups are co-ordinating the scheme, but solo efforts are just as appreciated. You can call up the maps by place name or grid reference, then it’s a simple task to fill in the form. Any problems such as blockages or missing signs can be reported to your local council highways department (who will no doubt file them for inspection before the next Millennium – Ed).
Well, Ed, you can also report the problem to the RA, so the council won’t be able to ignore it.
The project started in March this year and ends on next year’s autumnal equinox in September, so get busy. Full details are on the RA website, along with maps and reporting forms.