This is an archived press release
Tuesday 15 November 2016
The Peak District National Park has been praised following the biggest-ever survey of the nation’s footpaths, bridleways and byways.
The Big Pathwatch study by The Ramblers found that in areas of special designation such as National Parks, rights of way are considerably more likely to be well maintained. Of all National Parks in England and Wales, the Peak District had the highest proportion (85%) of paths well kept and signposted, compared to the national average of 56%.
Mike Rhodes, access and rights of way manager at the Peak District National Park, said: “Most people who visit the Peak District come to walk, so it’s essential that our rights of way are well managed and maintained.
“It’s great news that the paths in the National Park have been recognised by The Ramblers as being well kept and signposted and therefore more enjoyable to walk. This corresponds with our own surveys, which regularly show that between 85-90% are open and easy to use.
“This is a result of a close collaboration between our Ranger Service, local Highways authorities, landowners and local user groups, who together make the Peak District a welcoming place to visit.’’
More than 3,000 volunteer citizen surveyors took to the paths of England and Wales and recorded what they found, positive and negative, reporting back to the Ramblers either via the specially developed Big Pathwatch mobile phone app, or via the online version of the Big Pathwatch.
The Ramblers’ director of advocacy and engagement, Nicky Philpott, said: “Walking is great for our health and mental wellbeing. It’s a cheap form of transport and exercise, and a well-maintained path network could provide the solution to some of the region’s biggest challenges. We’d like to thank everyone who stepped out in the Peak District and walked their paths as part of the Big Pathwatch, helping us to gather this crucial information.
“Our Big Pathwatch survey found that paths are better where there is active custodianship – land owners and managers have a big part to play in keeping paths open and enjoyable for walkers. We congratulate the Peak District National Park on working collaboratively to ensure that paths are well maintained.”
Find out more about walking in the Peak District National Park.
Get involved in protecting paths with The Ramblers.