Newsletter February 2024

Welcome to the first Walking Pace newsletter! At Walking Pace we love walking and celebrate every walker and every walk – no matter how far, fast or technical. Set up by Matt Overd and Anita Kerwin-Nye Walking Pace promotes good ideas, shares knowledge and highlights experiences from across the vast walking community.

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In these regular updates we look back at walking related news you may have missed and highlight interesting articles, walking jobs, opportunities and upcoming dates. If you have any walking news or events you would like included in the next newsletter then please contact:

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Dry January is over, and probably so are many New Year’s Resolutions! January saw stunning displays of endurance in the Montane Spine Race, but the single reflection on the month must be – the weather. Storms Henk, Isha and Jocelyn battered the UK bringing floods, downed trees, blocked paths and challenging conditions for walkers. And widespread snow provided many stunning images, like this one from @RodIrelandphoto.

In this newsletter you’ll find the latest Walking Pace articles about New Year’s Resolutions, accessible walks, walking festivals and a guest article from Every Body Outdoors. There is a round up of some of the month’s walking news including awards and competitions and some interesting feature articles and a selection of walks. There is a focus on accessible walking and wheeling as well as upcoming dates for walking festivals and events. There are also walking jobs and unpaid roles.


Quote of the month

“A Single Small Map Is Enough For A Lifetime”

(Alastair Humphreys) – See the article

Walking Pace articles

Here are four articles from Walking Pace you may have missed, including our first Guest Blog featuring Every Body Outdoors’ Steph Wetherell.

New Years Resolutions 2024
The Walking Resolution

For many changing the calendar provides new momentum and an opportunity to look ahead and imagine what will (or could) be over the next 12 months. See article

One mile in the South Downs

It is in the South Downs National Park that I have developed my thinking on accessible walks and route cards. Here is a great walk with additional information to help people to get outside. See article

Black Mountains
Every Body Outdoors

When I’m in the outdoors, people judge me based on my appearance. They glance at my size 20 body and assume that I’m inexperienced. They look at my fat belly and presume I’m lazy. See article

Walking Festivals Group Walking 2
Walking Festivals

Walking Festivals are a key feature of the walking calendar. They are a great way to profile stunning walking country and attract new people to walking. Here is a list of 2024 festivals. See article

Round up

Problems with our footpaths: In January we learnt that footpaths are being blocked or obstructed in nearly 32,000 places across England and Wales, an increase of 4,000 from 2023. Kate Ashbrook, the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, responded by saying “Of course this is likely to be a significant under-estimate. Many people do not know how to report problems” – The Ramblers advice on dealing with problematic footpaths is here.

Who’s who: Voting closed on the TGO Reader Awards – the list of nominees is a useful summary of great walking pubs, cafes, apps and shops and key outdoorsy organisations and individuals. If you missed the vote, don’t worry – the nominations for the National Outdoor Expo Awards is now open – nominate your favourites!

Calling all writers: Mountaineering Scotland’s writing competition is back and asking for stories and poems inspired by the mountains – entries close at 5pm on Friday 1st March 2024.

Uniting the Movement: Sport England published Three years of Uniting the Movement – a summary of how they are progressing with their mission to tackle inequalities and keep sport and physical activity central to everyone’s lives.

New look for National Trails: National Trails, the independent champion for National Trails in the UK, has released their new brand.

National Trails

Worth a look

mary ann map history
How to spot history on a map

Broadcaster and anthropologist, Mary-Ann Ochota reveals some of the most common archaeological clues and historic symbols you’ll spot on a map. See more

East Sussex Guardian Article
Car-free tour of East Sussex

The High Weald is sometimes overlooked. But it’s easy to reach by train and ideal walking country. Follow Phoebe Taplin’s tour of East Sussex. See more

Ramblers WalkingForHealth GroupInTheLakes
Walking can boost your health

Ramblers highlight the benefits of walking – live longer, be healthier, be happier, reduce heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, dementia, stroke and cancers. See more

Malham Cove
Yorkshire Dales are special

Yorkshire Dales National Park have posted a series of videos providing 10 reasons why the Yorkshire Dales is a special place. See more

Red Squirrel
Short walk

This 1.2 mile walk at the National Trust’s Borthwood Copse on the Isle of Wight provides a peaceful woodland wander in red squirrel territory. See more

Dovers Hill Cotswold Way
Long walk

Walk the stunning 102 mile Cotswold Way in 10 warden guided sections – one a month for 10 months – coach travel to and from each stage is provided. See more

SlowWays Trail
Really long walk

Drafted from 451 linked #SlowWays routes, this beauty connects National Parks, National Landscapes, National Scenic Areas and National Trails. See more

London Walking Festival
Lots of walks

On now! The London Walking Festival is a programme of walks and tours exploring London’s unique urban landscape and remarkable history. See more

Walking and wheeling, access and inclusion

  • Outdoors for All: Thirty six leading national governing bodies and environmental organisations have joined together to support an Outdoors For All manifesto.
  • Forest of Bowland: Access the Dales announced two brand new wheelchair hubs in partnership with the Forest of Bowland. Access the Dales also discussed the book, Walks Without Stiles, which can be purchased here.
  • The West Walk: The South Downs National Park promoted their Miles Without Stiles walk on the west of the park.
  • Funding for Mosaic: Peak District Mosaic has secured £557,955 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to deliver its Championing National Parks for Everyone project – helping more people to explore, enjoy and understand the countryside and nature.
  • Racial diversity gap: The RACE Report 2023 shows the racial diversity gap between the UK working population and staff in environment, conservation, climate and sustainability charities.​
  • Accessible Castleton: Visit Peak District & Derbyshire promoted the accessibility guide and map for Castleton – “Everything you need to plan an accessible visit to the Peak District village of Castleton.”
  • Small and simple things can make the difference: a video showing how improvements to the Liverpool Loop Line are improving access for wheelchair users and active transport.
  • More simple things: an article profiling Miles Without Stiles and how more vulnerable young people are getting outdoors.
  • Putting Down Routes: Kent Downs National Landscape have been awarded a £250,000 grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Defra’s Farming in Protected Landscapes programme for the new Putting Down Routes project.
  • All terrain wheelchairs: Debbie North discusses the use of all terrain wheelchairs in an opinion piece on the Countryfile website.
  • Little walkers: Living Streets launches Little Feet – Elmer, an activity pack for schools and nurseries designed to introduce the benefits of walking to young children and their families.
Outdoors for all
Debbie North Countryfile 1
Little Feet Elmer

Coming up

Walking Events and Festivals 2
  • London Walking Festival – From Saturday 3rd February to Saturday 2nd March 2024  –  See more
  • Fort William Mountain Festival – From Thursday 15th February to Sunday 18th February 2024  –  See more
  • Crickhowell Walking Festival – From Saturday 9th March to Sunday 17th March 2024  –  See more
  • Fermanagh & Omagh Walking Festival – From Saturday 23rd March to Sunday 24th March 2024  –  See more
  • Chepstow Walking Festival – Monmouthshire – From Tuesday 2nd April to Sunday 7th April 2024  –  See more
  • Walk Scilly Festival – From Friday 12th April to Sunday 21st April 2024  –  See more
  • Kington Spring Walking Festival – Herefordshire – From Friday 19th April to Sunday 21st April 2024  –  See more
  • Mole Valley Ramblers Spring Walks Festival – Surrey – From Wednesday 24th April to Sunday 28th April 2024  –  See more
  • Haltwhistle Walking Festival – From Saturday 27th April to Monday 6th May 2024  –  See more
  • The Kiltwalk – Glasgow – On Sunday 28th April 2024  –  See more
  • Ride2stride. The Settle-Carlisle Walking & Music Festival – From Tuesday 30th April to Monday 6th May 2024  –  See more

Other dates

  • Friday 23rd February 2024 (5pm) – Dark Sky Event at Grimwith Reservoir, Yorkshire Dales. See more
  • Saturday 24th Feb 2024 (11:00 – 15:00pm) – Trespass to the Forbidden Island: Join Right to Roam and The Stars Are For Everyone as they head to a Dartmoor ‘access island’ – land on which the public have a right of access, but in order to get to there have to trespass. See more
  • Funding available for outdoor activity days from It’s Great Out There – Application deadline Thursday 29th February 2024. See more.
  • Thursday 7th March (10am – 4.30pm) – Living Streets’ UK Walking Summit 2024 – Sheffield & online. See more
  • If you are heading to Pen y Pass for Snowdon this Spring then the car park pre-book service will resume on the 23rd of March 2024. Busses also available. See more
  • Saturday 23rd to Sunday 24th March – National Outdoor Expo – NEC Birmingham. See more

Walking vacancies

Get in touch, send us your comments, news, events and vacancies for the next newsletter:

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