A new vision for the UK’s National Trails
The future of our National Trails could be secured if there was a national champion to support and promote them – that’s the message from the Britain’s walking charity. Responsibility for the 13 National Trails in England will be passed to local partnerships if new government plans for their management are put into place, posing an enormous risk that the quality of the trails will drop drastically.
There is, however, an alternative which would ensure these national assets are looked after in the way they deserve – and The Ramblers is ready to step in and work with the Government to take a leading role in making sure this happens. The organisation believes that a National Trails Association is the best solution for National Trails, acting as a national champion and offering practical and strategic support for a network of Local Trail Partnerships working to maintain them at a local level.
A National Trails Association could share best practise and give advice to Local Trail Partnerships as well as stepping in to manage a trail if a partnership were to fail – a safety net not provided by the Government’s current proposals. Such a national body would also allow quality standards to be monitored and upheld, meaning a better experience for walkers and other users of the National Trails network in England including horse riders and cyclists.
Integrating new sections of the English Coastal Path would also prove much easier under the guidance of a National Trails Association, helping deliver the goal of a coast path around England’s entire coastline. The Ramblers will be revealing more about their vision for the future of the country’s National Trails and a unified National Trails Association soon – keep up to date by signing up for updates from the charity’s Campaign for National Trails or by subscribing to their news feed.
Top image: The Cleveland Way cc James F. Carter
Lower image: The Cotswold Way © Natural England / Jo Bird