Welcome to the 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: matt@walkingpace.uk.

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Newsletter March 2024

Finally Spring is in the air following the warmest February since records began and the wettest in Southern England. Paths have been submerged and events washed out, but that hasn’t stopped walkers from walking. So, as the snowdrops gave way to daffodils we highlight some of the last month’s walking news and look forward to hopefully dryer and warmer walks in the month ahead.

February saw Children’s Mental Health Week and walking played its part: Mental Health Mates Bristol is a walking group that supports people with their mental health, Access the Dales posted about the Therapeutic Power of Countryside Walks for Mental Health and Forestry England highlighted their wellbeing trails.

National Trust Daffodils

Photo: NT Images/ Mike Selby. Anglesey Abbey Daffodil Tours – 18th March to 21st April.

For Valentine’s Day National Trust for Scotland told us that 68% of Scots believe a love of spending time outdoors is one of the most attractive qualities in a potential friend or partner. Plenty of outdoor and walking books were recommended for World Book Day, there was great support from the walking community for International Women’s Day and lots of Mother’s Day walks were posted on social media.

Quote of the month

“I can report with confidence that stage 11 of the #LondonLoop, near Yiewsley is currently only passable by boat.”


Walking Pace articles

Here are four articles from Walking Pace you may have missed.

IMG 6771 rotated e1709636529459
World (walking) Book Day

With World Book Day in March it felt appropriate to confess a secret habit – collecting old walking books. Surely I am not alone in this? See article

1b. Wolfscote Dale
Pennine Odyssey

Wainwright noted The Pennine Way should be the ‘Pennine and Cheviot Way’ and it excludes the South Pennines. What does a purely Pennine way look like? See article

Walking Challenges 2024
Charity Walking Challenges

Charity Challenges are a key feature of the walking calendar and encourage seasoned and new walkers to get outside, have fun and push their limits. See article

Old Hartington Station Signal
Walking on old railway lines

Many disused trainlines across the UK have been maintained for recreational use and provide a vast network of flat walks through stunning scenery. See article

Round up

Walking Festivals. More walking festivals have confirmed their dates and been added to the list. The Guardian has chosen their top ten UK walking festivals and protecting Catbells with National Trust is the official charity of the Keswick Mountain Festival.

Access and Access Islands. Throughout February Right to Roam have been discussing access islands – those pieces of open access land which cannot be reached without trespassing. Despite the planned Trespass to the Forbidden Island on Dartmoor being rained off the campaign has achieved visibility including articles from the BBC and the Guardian. UK Climbing comment on the call for a commitment to Scottish-style access reform to be introduced to the rest of the UK. And a protest against new charges for Cirencester Park in the Cotswolds has been scheduled for the 17th March.

The clock is ticking for unrecorded paths. Campaigner Kate Ashbrook warns of the looming deadline for applications to record historic paths. See more

Severe weather affecting trails. The South West Coast Path has suffered multiple landslips and has to adapt to the changing climate, and boulders have fallen onto the path at Durdle Door

Have you say on National Nature Reserves. Natural England are undertaking research to understand more about the people who visit National Nature Reserves. See more

The impact of being outdoors on wellbeing: Natural England have released a summary of key evidence for the benefits of nature-based interventions, including outdoor exercise. See more and get the report here.

Awards. The TGO Reader Awards winners were announced and the voting for the National Outdoor Expo Awards closed on the 8th March, but you can still view the finalists.

Stride and ride. Report from IPPR showing that investment in active travel infrastructure brings significant benefits. See more.

Women’s Leadership in Protected Landscapes. A hundred people joined a webinar, hosted by Walking Pace’s Anita Kerwin-Nye on International Women’s Day, to share the experiences of women leaders in protected landscapes. This included a well received presentation from Polly Martin, CEO of National Trails UK. Pictorial report below:

International Womens Day Protected Landscapes

Trailblaze on Slow Ways. Get advice from seasoned Slow Ways volunteers on how to get involved and help grow the Slow Ways network. See more

New Chair. Mountaineering Scotland announces Jo Dytch as new Chair. See more

Paths to Prosperity. Powys County Council and Ramblers Cymru have launched “Paths to Prosperity,” to boost community involvement in access, create economic opportunities, and improve visitor experience by developing trails in Welshpool, Llangorse, and Coelbren. Locals were invited to a drop in session to talk about their own walks.

Sustainable Farming. Consultation on the Sustainable Farming Scheme closed last week and Ramblers Cymru have outlined their response. See more.

Policy for Scotland. Paths for All have shared the work they have been doing to influence a happier, healthier and greener Scotland. See more

Latest from Outdoor Industries Association. Have a look at the Outdoor View Newsletter here and subscribe to the mailing list here.

Hyde Park. A public consultation on whether South Carriage Drive in Hyde Park should be permanently closed to motor traffic is underway. See more

Geology and shipwrecks. An app to help users better understand the geology of the north east England coastline has been launched. See more there is also a new website.

New railway trail on the way. Work is to begin shortly to install a new bridge and clear ditches on the Alnwick to Cornhill line in Northumberland which closed to trains in 1953. See more

Walkies. Surrey County Council has launched a new dog walkers code of conduct to ensure the countryside can be enjoyed by all and to protect wildlife and the natural environment. And Friends of the South Downs are encouraging dogs to be kept on leads and on the paths.

A fine bridge. Walkers in Norfolk have been warned they could face a £1,000 fine for crossing an unsafe bridge. See more

Walking backwards. Charity fundraiser Ben Stewart has climbed up and back down Mount Kilimanjaro – walking backwards. See more

Trig bagging. 11 year old Merlin has completed a charity challenge to reach all 88 trig points in the Peak District in less than a year. See more

New rules for pooping on Mount Everest. Outside asks veteran guides how changes to waste regulations will affect mountaineers on the world’s highest peak. See more

Worth a look

Walkhighlands Common Ground
Common ground

A series of short interviews from Paul Webster on Walkhighlands which aim to find out what makes the people who walk the Scottish Highlands tick. See more

Open Spaces Society 1
More space to walk in Dartmoor

Eighty-five acres near Blackdown Common on Dartmoor have been given protection as common land, which can now be walked on following a campaign from The Open Spaces Society. See more

Beat the street
Beat the Streets

Turning towns into games, walkers can earn points, win prizes and discover more about their area. ‘Players’ use a Beat the Street card to swipe at Beat Boxes across their community. See more

North York Moors Apprentice Diaries
New boards

North York Moors Apprentices have been replacing the boardwalk at Forge Valley, as explained in Tom Pearson’s Apprentice Diaries. See more

Kensington Gardens
Kensington Gardens walk

Kensington Gardens, London spring walkthrough – a video from The Royal Parks outlining these beautiful central London spaces. See more

PeakDistrict Ranger Walks
Peak District Ranger Walks

National Park Rangers have a wealth of knowledge and love to share their stories.  Many walks are suitable for families with children who enjoy a challenge. See more

New London Walk

London’s newest walking route, the 16-mile Green Link Walk was launched on 1st March – reported by London Live, TfL and the Inner London Ramblers.

Scottish Paths Map
8 Scottish Hidden Paths

Eight of Scotland’s finest ‘hidden paths’ mapped thanks to Ramblers’ Scottish Paths Map of 42,000 miles of path, many not on other maps. See more

Walking and wheeling, access and inclusion

  • The path to inclusive footways. An independent report by Sustrans and Transport for All, commissioned by the LGA, details the barriers faced by people accessing footways and the challenges facing local authorities when making footways accessible. Councils call for a ban on pavement parking. See more
  • Outdoors for All. Shadow Nature Minister, Toby Perkins, says still more to do to improve access to the outdoors, at a reception in Parliament organised by the Outdoor for All coalition.
  • Outdoor ally. North Face have created a one-hour online course for those who work and operate in the outdoor industry to foster a deeper understanding of the unique challenges faced by people of colour when accessing the outdoors. See BMC’s endorsement or go to the course
  • Outdoor clothing for all. The benefits of walking and hiking outdoors are universal – so why doesn’t outdoor clothing come in bigger sizes? See more
  • The first step. Dee Ucuncu describes how she was housebound but walking changed her life, now she leads walks for others. The Ramblers also share Dee’s story along with two other inspirational tales of how walking has changed lives.
  • Move Mates. A walking buddy project which makes getting out for a walk a reality for people who would otherwise find it difficult to leave their homes. See more
  • More from the Dales. Access the Dales have launched a newsletter see the first edition and sign up to the mailing list here.
  • Active Design. Sport England outlines the principles of Active Design. See more
  • Connect Recover Thrive. The Peak District National Park Foundation’s campaign includes outcomes to connect people from underrepresented groups and help everyone to access the National Park. See more
  • Dark Skies Adventure: A Night to Remember. Access the Dales reflect on their Dark Skies event which saw 60 people, including 20 children take part. See more
Outdoors for All Toby Perkins
Move Mates 1
Active Travel

Coming up

Walking Events and Festivals 2
  • 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
  • Galashiels Spring Walking Festival 2024 – From Friday 26th April to Sunday 28th April 2024 – See more
  • Haltwhistle Walking Festival – From Saturday 27th April to Monday 6th May 2024  –  See more
  • Ulverston Walkfest – 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

  • 14th March 2024 is Social Prescribing Day. 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
  • 16th May 2024 National Trails Summit. The inaugural National Trails UK Summit will celebrate and reflect on 75 Years of Access to the Countryside, the vital role that the National Trails play in connecting people to nature, and how we can work together to ensure equity of access to the outdoors now and in the future. See more
  • Lots of upcoming events from the Institute of Outdoor Leaning. See more
  • Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland (OATS) have announced dates for their volunteer maintenance programme. See more

Walking vacancies

Get in touch, send us your comments, news, events and vacancies for the next newsletter: matt@walkingpace.uk

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