The Big


The Big Pathwatch




We want your help to walk every right of way in England and Wales as part of our Big Pathwatch, the very first project to gather a complete picture of the state of our footpaths. Why not take your children with you and get them involved?

Our amazing 140,000 mile path network in England and Wales is one of the nation's biggest assets, and the envy of walkers around the world. But there are problems with our paths stopping people in their tracks - from overgrown paths to dangerous barbed wire, these problems have a real impact on people's ability to simply go for a walk.

By volunteering for the Big Pathwatch, you'll be helping to preserve and protect these amazing paths that carry us out into nature, allow us to explore our beautiful countryside, or simply take a handy short cut to school.

The results from the Big Pathwatch will give us the complete picture of the state of our path network, and allow us to find the long-term solutions to protect our paths for generations to come.

Taking part is easy, simply download the free Big Pathwatch app, go for a walk and report back on what you see.  Check out our videos to learn more about the project or visit our frequently asked questions.

As an Approved Activity Provider for The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, we offer opportunities for participants to complete the Volunteering section of their Bronze Award in a fun and easy way. Would you like to be part of our most ambitious project to date?

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Practical considerations

To avoid your little ones over-tiring, go at their pace and keep walks shorter or plan ways to make a short cut during the route if necessary. It's better to leave them eager for the next walk than bad-tempered and reluctant for another outing.

Make sure they are wearing the right clothing and footwear so they don't get cold, wet or overheat. In summer hats and sun cream - as well as something for bites and stings - are good ideas while in winter have some extra layers to hand.

Build in toilet and refreshment stops - or take some snacks and drinks with you - and plan ahead for getting to the walk itself. Choose walks with convenient parking or transport links near to your starting point to keep their energies and attention on the walk itself.

Staying safe

Walking is a safe activity for families with young children but it's important to follow the Countryside Code (in England and Wales) in countryside areas and green spaces and the Highway Code when using roads.

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