We’re fortunate in Wales to boast some internationally renowned hiking routes, such as The Wales Way, which stretches along the country’s entire coastline, and Offa’s Dyke Path, tracing the hilly borderlands between Wales and England.
But while these famous trails may draw hikers from around the world, equally as important (and beloved!) are the small trails that wriggle through local woodlands and meadows, granting residents of Welsh towns and cities easy, direct access to the Welsh countryside.
And it’s exactly these types of trails that a new community project headed by Ramblers Cymru is hoping to safeguard for generations to come.
The Paths to Wellbeing scheme will see the charity, which works to promote walking in Wales for pleasure and health, support 18 communities across Wales in developing their local pathways and nurturing local green spaces. In the coming months, activities such as wildlife engagement days, seed planting and vegetation clearance will provide would-be ramblers of all ages the skills to care for their local patch of wilderness.
Speaking about the project, Hannah Wilcox-Brooke, from Ramblers Cymru, said, “Throughout lockdown, people of all ages explored their local green spaces and realised how beneficial walking outdoors is for their mental and physical wellbeing. Sadly, they also encountered problems with the path network.”
“We want to improve the paths as we know that good quality routes can connect us to our friends and family, to nature, and our local heritage,” Hannah added.
Alongside the upcoming volunteering days, the project will also work to improve general accessibility to walking trails, with mobility gates installed and new family-friendly walking routes created.
The 18 sites selected for the project, chosen from over 60 communities who applied to the scheme, span the length of Wales, from the Clywedog Valley on the outskirts of Wrexham to the inner-city suburb of Maindee in Newport.
Learn more about Wales’ wide array of wonderful walking routes.