Britain’s Ramblers are looking for walkers with a keen eye for detail to help quality-check its growing library of walking routes for independent walkers.
Ramblers volunteers across Britain have been developing walking routes as part of a new project – Ramblers Routes – which will offer walkers access to hundreds of inspiring self-led routes to enjoy with family and friends.
But a great walking route takes more than just one walker, so Ramblers are looking for regular walkers to help check routes on the ground to ensure they are interesting, easy to follow, safe and graded to the right walking ability.
Route checkers road-test the route description and map for each walk, ensure the route matches any special features – like being child or dog friendly or having easy access – and carry out a simple risk assessment.
You can check routes in your local area or in your favourite walking destinations and there are free route checking and development workshops and online training available for Ramblers members and walkers keen to get involved.
“Route checkers are a really important part of creating quality walking routes” said Ramblers Routes Project Manager Justin Bend. “Even if they have been checked by the person who developed them, routes also need to be checked thoroughly and risk-assessed by a different person.”
“All our routes will have the Ramblers quality stamp, meaning walkers can enjoy them with confidence” adds Justin. “We also want to make sure the routes are appealing and attractive, so it’s always good to have a fresh eye on something.”
Find out more about checking or developing routes by watching the Ramblers Routes video or register as a route checker for the opportunity to improve and expand your existing walking skills.
Ramblers have also proposed a fantastic future for England’s National Trails with its new vision document National Trails: a fantastic future. Creating a charitable National Trails Trust is the best way to support, develop and promote the 13 National Trails in England and ensure they reach their full potential, with Local Trail Trusts to help manage the trails on the ground. The government currently plans to hand over responsibility for the trails to hard-pressed local authorities and voluntary groups, but without a national champion there is a real threat the quality of these long-distance walking routes could seriously decline. You can show your support by donating to our National Trails Appeal to help continue campaigning to secure the long-term future of Britain’s most treasured walking routes for generations of walkers to come.