National Trust co-ordinates new Walk Together Pathway

Posted: Wed, 22 May 2024 09:00

National Trust co-ordinates new Walk Together Pathway

Aspiring walk leaders from eight groups representing people from the global majority began their training last month.

The project, called the Walk Together Pathway, brings together Black Girls Hike, Black2Nature, Bristol Steppin Sistas, Mosaic Outdoors, Muslim Hikers, NYCE (Nature, Youth, Connection, and Education), Peak District Mosaic and Sheffield Environmental Movement.

Despite representing 15% of the population in England and Wales, people from the global majority are widely under-represented in the outdoors, accounting for only 1% of National Park visitors in 2019.

Cost and access are key barriers encountered by people regardless of their ethnicity, but for people from the global majority, these challenges are coupled with a lack of representation in the outdoors, which leads to the feeling that they might not be welcome in outdoor spaces, as well as fear of discrimination and cultural differences.

A spokesperson for the eight walking groups in the Walk Together Pathway said:

"The outdoors is open to everyone. You don't need a qualification to go out walking or running, or enjoy it in other ways. But we know that some people need extra support to take that step into the outdoors. Groups like ours bring likeminded people together and act as that bridge to the unknown. The Walk Together Pathway will go some way to make sure that our eight groups can support as many people as we can from the communities we represent to explore our wonderful natural landscapes and be inspired to take action to care for them."

The project is funded through a Gift in Will left to the National Trust, and coordinated by the Trust. It is supported by Beyond The Edge, Mountain Training, Ordnance Survey, Plas Y Brenin, The Ramblers, Sport England and the Youth Hostel Association. This coalition of organisations is providing mentoring, accommodation, and equipment such as maps, and running the courses, including the main qualifications and additional courses such as First Aid.

A spokesperson for the outdoors supporters said:

"In the past, large organisations like ours have often not understood the needs of underrepresented communities. Walk Together Pathway is the result of listening to walking groups tell us what support we can give them that would most help their inspiring work, which has transformed access to the outdoors for so many people. We hope that through this project, we can play our small part in bringing about the systemic change needed to make sure that everyone can enjoy the essential benefits that time in green space and nature brings."

If you run a local walking group in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, you can register your group and session details on the Active Together website. It's free to register and sessions can be promoted through the Active Together newsletters or news features.

Tags: Inclusivity, National Trust, News, Partner, Walking